Seafood-Citrus Salad with Vanilla Bean-Black Pepper Vinaigrette

February  7, 2011
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

  • Serves 6
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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)

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