2-1: West Coast Salad

A wise man once said, ” You don’t win friends with salad.” I’m not sure how many friends you’ll be winning with 2-1: West Coast Salad, but if you’re looking for something keto-friendly (we used to call that low-carb or “Atkins-friendly” back in the day, kids) and you need a break from the cookies and candies that are EVERYWHERE around this time of year, this might be the ticket.

By Western shore/West Coast, we’re referring to the western coast of the United States which includes the states of California (where I live and am from), Oregon, and Washington. The seafood is in fact different in the Pacific versus the Atlantic–you won’t find a lot of lobster here, but you will find an abundance of crab and mussels.

It’s impressive that they want you to make 3 different dressings for this one salad. You can take the TIP and just do one, but why not try a bite with each of the three? That way you really get the WHOLE Simply Delicious experience.

Ingredients. I picked up cherry tomatoes instead of regular ones since I think those do better in a salad, and I’ve swapped West Coast (keeping with the theme) rockfish for the mussels, since I can only handle mussels as part of a hearty dish like a pasta–just out there on their own in a salad is a little too much for me.

I’m marinating the rockfish in a bit of salad dressing (not the one I made for this recipe) before I cook it to give it some extra flavor.

Easiest way to break down a head of iceberg lettuce is to smack the root end of it on the counter while still whole. If you do it right (not TOO hard, but with some force behind it), the core will pop right out. A little restaurant trick from me to you–here’s a video on it if you want to see exactly how to do it.

Once you’ve cored it, slice it in half (core side down) and then you can break the halves down further from there. Or leave them as halves (or quarters) and make yourself a nice wedge salad instead.

The recipe calls for cooked/peeled shrimp, so you can either get those from the seafood counter yourself, or just go with the frozen stuff. I slightly defrosted these in some water and then sliced them into easier-to-eat pieces as instructed.

Making the mayonnaise dressing.

We grilled the marinated rockfish and then I broke it up into smaller pieces to include in the salad. Honestly, this is more representative of the way you’d see fish on a salad out here–you’re more likely to see a grilled piece of fresh fish like this than some canned mussels being thrown in there.

Making the vinaigrette dressing.

Slicing up some sad canned asparagus. No one should have to eat canned asparagus ever–it’s 2022 and it’s in the market as fresh produce all year round at this point. I suppose they had you use the canned version since the global produce trade was not as fully developed then as it is now.

Starting to assemble the salad, starting with the lettuce and the tomatoes (which have been halved).

With everything else on top, except dressing.

Topped it with a bit of the mayonnaise dressing (you can tell by the picture) and dug in. It’s a seafood salad, and it’s not terrible (some of these other ones have been). We’ll call that a win.

Grade: B+