A Seafood Salad
There’s one thing that I really dislike after a vacation, and that’s having to go to the grocery store. Of course, no one else goes for me, so inevitably I drag myself out of the house to stock up on fruits, vegetables, and whatever I need for my planned meals.
But it’s especially nice to not have to go, especially the first day back. Especially if there’s some jet lag involved. Usually there’s unpacking, laundry, organizing, re-visiting lists, checking plants, and reuniting with the dogs that take precedence.
We have a pet sitter who will place frozen cuts of meat into the refrigerator on the day I ask her to, which is helpful. But my husband tends to eat heartier and meatier meals than I do. If you’ve ever seen me eat, you might be laughing at this. But seriously, I’d rather have a salad than a steak. Except that there’s no fresh lettuce and other veggies in the fridge after being gone for two weeks.
So enter my solution for having a nice meal on your first day back, without having to go to the store. It’s a salad of warm potatoes and canned seafood. It’s actually good when you have food in the house. The key, of course, is having good quality seafood on hand. The only think you have to plan ahead is to have some potatoes stored in the refrigerator before you leave town.
So here’s what I did in order to procrastinate going to the grocery store for another day.
Potato and Seafood Salad
2-3 medium red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled
Canned tuna in oil
Canned octopus in oil
Other canned tuna, if necessary
Lettuce leaves, optional
Vinegar of choice
Begin with the potatoes. Chop them up in equal pieces.
Place them in boiling water. When they are tender, drain them in a colander.
Add all of the seafood canned in oil to another colander over a small bowl and let it drain. Save the oil.
Place the potatoes in a bowl, and add most all of the saved oil from the canned seafood, or to your taste preference. If you feel that the oil is too “fishy,” simply add olive oil to the still-warm potatoes. But this is an important step because the oil keeps the potatoes moist. Add some salt and toss gently.
On a serving platter, place the lettuce leaves decoratively.
Add the still warm potatoes.
Add the seafood to the salad.
Sprinkle the salad with a little more olive oil, if needed. I do.
Then sprinkle some vinegar over the salad. Today I used sherry vinegar, but any vinegar except balsamic would work well.
If you prefer, make a vinaigrette using oil, vinegar, and some Dijon mustard first and pour that over the top of the salad.
Then add capers, a little salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Serve immediately.
You could always include chopped shallots or chives, if they’re available.
As I mentioned above, other ingredients can be added to this salad, like fresh tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and olives, but on a day when you have a limited supply of food, it’s a delightful and healthy salad to make and enjoy.
note: If you don’t have potatoes, the same ingredients can be added to cooked pasta. I would suggest warming some minced garlic in a generous amount of olive oil first, then adding the pasta and seafood. If everything is dry, a little chicken broth can be added. Heat everything through over low heat, with a lid on the skillet, to maximize absorption of the liquid. Canned seafood is a staple in my pantry!
This is a really good and practical idea. Even during the week, I have anti-grocery shopping days…
I completely understand…
That’s not a salad – it’s a work of art!! And I’m sure it’s delicious! I’d love to be able to find some canned octopus in oil – it makes the salad so special.
I like seafood canned in oil because it’s so much less dry, but that’s just a personal preference! Some people don’t like the extra calories.
I, too, prefer canned seafood packed in oil for the same reason – and – quess what – I ordered some canned smoked octopus from Walmart so I can make this delicious salad. I’ll let you know if the smoked octopus overpowers the other flavors.
Just located some canned octopus !! It’s called Vigo. One of the reviewers said they liked the smoked flavor. Is ‘smoked’ OK for this salad?
I think if you love smoked octopus then it would be a good addition. It will definitely stand out amongst the other flavors, but then there’s nothing strong flavor-wise to combat its smokiness. Could work really well!!!
This looks lovely. I especially love the curls of the tentacles…photographed so well!
Thank you! Of course, I love baby octopus!!!
I love seafood salad, but I’ve never really thought of putting potatoes in there too. This looks yummy, and not too difficult either!
So easy. Just an improvisation, but handy when there’s little in the cupboards!
Welcome home :-) I’ve never seen canned octopus before.
It’s not like fresh, but works well in a pinch. The texture is there, which is what I love!
This looks so flavoursome! I love tuna, it’s such a lifesaver sometimes!
It is a lifesaver! Thank you!!!
I never had canned octopus. In fact, I wouldn’t have thought there was such a thing :-) But I’ll give it and your recipe a try – a great “pantry” meal…