Today’s Mediterranean Skillet Seafood Salad is something I came up with a few weeks ago. Steve was back on the road and I’d been working really hard to cut portions, carbs, and calories. Because I’d been eating a lot of cold salads, I was getting a little cranky. See, I was missing something warm.
Going for that “something warm”, I checked the fridge. I had some surimi left over from making nori wraps, I always have frozen shrimp in the freezer, I had a lemon, an herb pot with parsley, and I had a jar of sun-dried tomatoes that a vendor had sent in a food gift basket. Hmmm….
My conscience said salad. My taste buds said big flavor, my subconscious said warm, and my fridge dictated the ingredients.
I need to listen to my fridge more often!
We’re talking crispy, savory, tangy, nutty, velvety, saucy, and bright. Warm skillet-sautéed toppings on a beautifully crisp lettuce bed.
Seriously, if you like seafood, you’ve got to try this.
let’s make a Mediterranean skillet seafood salad
I’ve already listed most of the ingredients, but I would like to talk a little bit about Artisan Romaine.
I often buy romaine hearts because of their sweet leaves, but the leaves are often bigger than I like. I have been buying Artisan Romaine lettuce at Costco and am really enjoying them. They are described as having the refreshing crunch of iceberg lettuce and the sweet flavor of a romaine heart. That’s pretty accurate. And the leaves are shorter and narrower, so they tear into better bite-sized pieces.
Tear the romaine by hand only because that gives your lettuce more variety than slicing everything to exactly the same size. You want the salad to look a little rustic.
I cut the onions to 1/2-inch in width because I want them to soften and get sweeter, but I still want a little crunch after sautéeing them.
Split the torn lettuce leaves into two entrée-sized plates.
The first couple of times I made this salad, I added sliced green olives. However, I have decided that I prefer this salad without them. They were competing with the sun-dried tomatoes. And to me, the sun-dried tomatoes really shine in this dish, so the olives had to go.
If you follow my recipes, you know I put garlic in almost everything, and it is usually diced.
For this recipe, I decided to slice the cloves thinly because I wanted the garlic to be a little larger for cooking. Garlic develops a wonderfully nutty flavor when sautéed or roasted, and that is what I was going for.
Cut the surimi legs into large pieces. Maybe 4-5 per leg. It is a tender processed protein and can fall apart in the pan if you cut it into pieces that are too small. Plus, surimi has a lovely sweet and salty taste that comes across more successfully when the pieces are bigger.
To start, add half the olive oil, the shrimp, onion, and garlic to a skillet heated to medium. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for about 1 minute then flip each shrimp and cook for a minute more, stirring the onion as well.
Next add the chopped sun-dried tomato, stir, and cook for another minute.
Then add the surimi pieces and cook for another minute. The onions are softening but will have some crunch.
Finally, add the rest of the olive oil and the juice of one full lemon. I squeeze the lemon through a tea strainer to catch the seeds because my hands are too freakishly small to catch them before they fall into the food.
Choose whatever method you want to contain the lemon seeds.
If you do not have a little bit of pan juice, drizzle more olive oil. You will need those pan juices to dress the lettuce.
Taste for seasoning, adjust accordingly. You are done! Now, wasn’t that simple?
Spoon the sautéed topping equally between the two salad bowls.
Use a silicone spatula to scrape out every bit of dressing and drizzle it over the salads. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with lemon wedges along with the olive oil cruet or bottle for those who might like more citrusy brightness and/or velvety coating.
And oh my gosh! Warm, yet crisp. The sweet seafood meat, the tangy warmth of sun-dried tomatoes, the nuttiness of the garlic slices, the crunchy and sweet bite of onions. Dressed in bright lemon juice and velvety olive oil. The whole combo just beautifully coating the artisan romaine leaves below.
Grab a plate, a glass of wine, and go sit outside to eat if you can. Picture the Mediterranean coast and let the worries of the world fall away. A quick and easy salad never tasted so satisfying!
And there you have it! Lori’s Mediterranean Skillet Seafood Salad!
- 6 cups Artisan Romaine hearts, torn
- 12 - 16 medium (31 to 40 per lb.) raw shrimp
- 6 ounces surimi legs (about 6), cut into large chunks
- 5 ounces onion, sliced ½-inch thick
- 2 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
- 1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes in oil, blotted of excess oil and chopped
- 3 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced, or more, to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Start by splitting the torn lettuce leaves equally between two entrée-sized salad bowls.
- Next, heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium flame. Add half the olive oil, the shrimp, garlic, and onion, making sure the shrimp are in a single layer and in direct contact with the bottom of the pan.
- Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
- Cook for one minute, then flip the shrimp and stir the onion and garlic.
- Cook for another minute, then add the chopped sun-dried tomato. Stir to distribute.
- Cook for a minute, then add the surimi. Stir to distribute.
- Cook for one more minute to heat throughout, then add the remaining olive oil and lemon juice.
- Stir to distribute. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Finally, spoon the toppings equally into the two prepared lettuce bowls. Use a silicone spatula to transfer all the pan juices onto the salad bowls.
- Serve warm.