Seafood-Citrus Salad with Vanilla Bean-Black PepperĀ Vinaigrette

February  7, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

At a cooking school we made a vinaigrette using vanilla bean. I loved the flavors so much that I have been making my own version every since. It is perfect with citrus, and made in heaven for seafood (especially lobster). This salad pairs the combination of two varietals of oranges with rock shrimp and large shrimp and lobster for a real treat. - dymnyno —dymnyno

Test Kitchen Notes

What a delightful salad! I made a half-recipe and politely shared it with my husband for supper. I used 1/2 pound of large shrimp, and arranged them atop the tossed salad. The citrus, vanilla and black pepper combine to make a light and delicious dressing. The vanilla really adds a mysterious note and complements the shrimp perfectly. The olives add a buttery, salty contrast to the sweet oranges. All of the flavors work together harmoniously. This salad is fancy enough for company yet easy enough for an elegant midweek meal. This recipe is a definite keeper! —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • Vanilla-Black Pepper Vinaigrette (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 whole vanilla beans (be sure to use soft fresh beans)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Citrus Seafood Salad with green olives
  • 3 cups of thinly sliced oranges, blood oranges and navel oranges
  • 1 pound rock shrimp
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp
  • 1 head of Bibb (butter) lettuce
  • 1 sliced avocado
  1. To make the vinaigrette: Combine the lemon,lime and orange juices, sugar and the vinegar in a jar.
  2. With a sharp knife, make a slit from end to end of the vanilla bean , but don't cut all the way through. Using the knife, gently scrape all the pulp out of the beans and add to the juices.
  3. Grind the black pepper and add to the juices. Add the rice wine vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the ingredients together. Add the orange zest. Refrigerate to infuse the flavors. (you can put the vanilla bean back in until ready to use)
  4. Shake before using.
  5. To make the salad: Peel and cut the oranges into thin slices, crosswise.
  6. Saute the shrimp in a tiny bit of olive oil, drain, and cool completely.
  7. Break up the leaves of a head of Bibb lettuce into small pieces.
  8. Toss the orange slices, seafood and avocado slices and Bibb lettuce with the Vanilla Bean-Black Pepper Vinaigrette .(remove the vanilla beans and shake well)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizthechef
  • hardlikearmour
  • healthierkitchen
  • AntoniaJames
  • drbabs

9 Reviews

Tarragon February 24, 2012
I made this last night, on the spur of the moment, because I had everything on hand. This combination is genius! The dressing was just perfect; I never would have thought of using vanilla in a salad dressing, and it was sublime with the rock shrimp. Even my "I don't eat salad for dinner" husband ate every bite. This will now be my go-to vinaigrette for salads with seafood. (I added an avocado because I had one I needed to use - the avocado went well with the shrimp, oranges and olives). Thank you for a great recipe which will now go in my regular rotation.
dymnyno February 24, 2012
Thanks! Actually my original recipe included avocados. I just added them. Sometimes I also add sliced mangoes and other tropical fruit. Thanks for the reminder!
Lizthechef July 5, 2011
Hey, I missed this...What a perfect summer recipe!
hardlikearmour February 7, 2011
Wow! The vinaigrette sounds amazing. I can't see anyway to improve upon this salad. Nicely done, dymnyno.
dymnyno February 7, 2011
healthierkitchen February 7, 2011
This sounds just delicious! I haven't been able to get rock shrimp around here in years, but I will just sub extra shrimp.
AntoniaJames February 7, 2011
Oh, yum. My mouth started watering as I read the title, and now, as I look at the photo and read the recipe, I'm trying to figure out if I can make this for lunch . . . today!! You totally rock. ;o)
dymnyno February 7, 2011
thanks, Guess what Freddy is having for lunch!
drbabs February 7, 2011