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Simple seafood salad at its best


Dear SOS: The Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C., has a wonderful seafood salad on its dining room menu. The dressing was wonderful -- a subtle lemon flavor. Can you possibly obtain the recipe for the salad and dressing? I am craving this and not likely to be back there soon!

Elaine Hulderman

San Dimas

Dear Elaine: We loved the bright flavors, colors and textures in this deceptively simple salad. Shrimp, jumbo lump crab and smoked trout top a medley of lettuces and finely shaved fennel, composed and dressed with a light lemon anise dressing.

Seafood saladTotal time: 20 minutesServings: 2Note: Adapted from the Madison, a Loews Hotel, Washington, D.C.Lemon anise dressing1 lemon1 tablespoon honey1 tablespoon Pernod3 tablespoons minced shallots1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or grape seed)Salt and pepper1. Zest and juice the lemon, combining both in a measuring cup. Measure out 1 ounce, discarding the rest or reserving it for another use.2. To the combined lemon zest and juice, add the honey, Pernod, shallots and mustard, whisking together. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This makes about three-fourths cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; cover and refrigerate the leftover dressing up to 3 days.Salad and assembly6 cups combined lettuces (watercress, frisée and mesclun)1 cup shaved fennel, dividedLemon anise dressing, to taste6 cooked shrimp (16 to 20 count per pound), peeled and deveined 1/3 cup (2 ounces) jumbo lump crab meat 1/3 cup (2 ounces) smoked trout10 Belgian endive leavesCracked black pepperFleur de sel1. In a large bowl, combine mixed lettuce and two-thirds cup shaved fennel. Toss with a very light coating of dressing (enough to coat the leaves, 4 to 5 tablespoons).2. Divide the salad between 2 plates or bowls, and top each portion with equal amounts of arranged shrimp, crab, trout, endive and remaining shaved fennel. Drizzle a little more dressing over the seafood on each salad and sprinkle over fresh cracked black pepper and fleur de sel to taste. Serve immediately.Each serving: 494 calories; 36 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 10 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 215 mg. cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 399 mg. sodium.

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