A salad can be more than just lettuce with bottled dressing. It can be the star of the dining table. Fresh crisp greens, warm potatoes, mussels and shrimp is a complete meal…only needing a loaf of crusty bread to serve alongside.
My recipe was inspired by a dish that my husband had while we were on our European trip last fall. In my post Au Revoir France, Ciao Italy, I mentioned that my husband was dreaming of finding the ultimate little seafood restaurant on the Italian Riviera (the Ligurian coast) for lunch. Just outside of San Remo, we found his dream restaurant, Byblos located right on the water. One of the dishes that we had that day was a warm octopus and potato salad dressed with olive oil.
Instead of octopus, I used black mussels which are also found on menus in that area. Since this was going to be our main course, I added shrimp and served the potatoes and seafood on a bed of spring greens dressed with a light lemony dressing. This recipe is simple to make and doesn’t have a long list of exotic ingredients. Use your imagination to adapt the recipe to your own tastes.
A Salad Of Warm Potatoes, Mussels And Shrimp
- 2 lbs. black mussels
- 1/4 c. olive oil plus an additional 2 Tbsp. to dress the seafood
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 or 4 shrimp per person, shelled and deveined
- 6 – 10 small red skinned potatoes (depending on size) cut into bite size pieces
- 1 – 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
- 7 – 8 oz. salad greens (your choice of tender lettuce)
- a light dressing of 3 Tbsp. of olive, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
Wash the mussels well and remove any beard, if present. Place the mussels in a large pot with the oil, wine and garlic and steam over high heat until the mussels open. Remove the mussels, discard any that do not open and reserve the broth. When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove from the shells and set aside in a large bowl.
Add the shrimp to the broth and steam until they turn pink. Remove the shrimp and place in the bowl with the mussels and reserve the broth.
Place the diced potato in the reserved broth (add water if needed to cover) and cook until tender but firm. Remove the potatoes from broth and add to the mussels.
Reduce the broth to the consistency of a dressing and place in a small bowl. Add the additional 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Mix to combine and pour over the potatoes, mussels, the chopped oregano and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Toss gently so that potatoes absorb the dressing.
Toss the lettuce with the lemon dressing. Place lettuce on a platter or in individual bowls and top with the potato and seafood mixture.
The warm seafood salad makes a nice first course similar to what we had in Italy but it is substantial enough to have as a main course. Either way, I think you will enjoy the dish.