Zesty Lemon-Lime Seafood Salad with Homemade Salsa

For most people, the word “salad” brings to mind a simple bowl of lettuce drizzled in dressing. As we suspected, however, you all are not most people. The dozens of salad recipes pouring in for the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest have proven you’re a bold bunch when it comes to salad-making and your creative combinations have been inspiring and mouth-watering.

This open-minded approach to salad is exactly what we loved about Michelle DeLorenzo’s Lemon-Lime Seafood Salad.  She made seafood the star, bedded it on a layer of dark greens and avocado and got rid of dressing entirely in favor of a zesty salsa.

Michelle admits this is her favorite salad not only because it’s a flavorful protein boost, but also because she loves making people at work jealous with her salad creations. “It encourages them to make salads for lunch themselves,” she explains, “instead of hitting the truly frightening cafeteria.”

The seafood in Michelle’s salad has a fresh, light flavor from lemon and herbs, and a spicy kick from red pepper flakes and Tabasco. Sort of like ceviche, except for the seafood is fully cooked. The easiest cooking method for the shrimp and scallops in the salad is a quick sauté in oil or butter. As for the crab, fresh, cooked crabmeat can be bought at the seafood counter and is the most flavorful, but also the most expensive. Pasteurized, canned crab meat is usually less expensive, but some brands have a flavor that is a little fishy. Just make sure you don’t use imitation crab, which really isn’t crab at all.

The salsa Michelle uses as a dressing is a straightforward blend of tomato, garlic, onion and cilantro, but roasting the tomatoes beforehand gives the salsa a richer flavor than simply using raw tomatoes. Roasting is also a good way to coax flavor out of tomatoes that aren’t quite in season yet.

The seafood combination in this salad tastes decadent but not heavy, the salsa is fresh and lively, and a garnish of creamy avocado sends the flavor combination right over the top. Luckily, Michelle’s recipe serves four, so you just might have enough to share with those jealous co-workers…

Servings: 4

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound cooked lump crabmeat (or lobster meat)
  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1/2 pound cooked sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 avocados
  • Your favorite greens

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped roasted tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • To spice it up, add hot sauce or finely chopped jalapeno to taste


In a medium bowl, combine seafood, tarragon, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and Tabasco sauce and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Combine all the salsa ingredients. For a chunky salsa, stir the ingredients in a bowl. For a smooth salsa, blend in the blender. Letting the salsa sit for awhile helps the flavors blend.

**The salsa can be made with raw tomatoes, but if you’d like to roast them for more flavor start by preheating the oven to 375-400 degrees. Slice each tomato in half and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for at least1 hour, until tomatoes are soft. Longer roasting evaporates some of the moisture and intensifies the flavor.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and gently scoop the meat out of the shells keeping the shape intact. Slice each avocado half into thin slices.

Place your greens of choice in four bowls and top with 1/4 of the seafood mixture, 1/4 of the salsa and fan the avocado slices on top. Delicious!

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25 thoughts on “Zesty Lemon-Lime Seafood Salad with Homemade Salsa”

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  1. Nice! Looks like a winner. Anything with Avocado, seafood and roasted tomatoes definitely has my interest 🙂

  2. Gimme that salad right now! I am currently indulging in my own DIY salad… 1 heart of romaine, lots of veggies, 1.2 oz walnuts, 1/2 avocado, and some homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing (recipe from this blog)… it is lovely!

    But the Zesty Lemon-Lime Seafood Salad with Homemade Salsa looks great! I can’t wait to here more salad creations!

    P.S. Beginning Monday, I am doing a 4 week primal experiment. I will be going about 99% primal (I think?) and will be recording everything I eat in detail. I will also be recording stress levels, fitness, etc. I am doing this for my acne blog and I am sure to create a lot of buzz.

    Can’t wait till Monday!

  3. I am so making this salad sometime this week. Where is that cookbook Mark? I need stuff like this every day.

  4. Hi Mark! I love trying out the recipes you post. One of my personal favs is eggs florentine (w/o the english muffin). Eggs over easy on a bed of spinach and a layer of smoked salmon, and covered w hollandaise sauce (butter/yolk mixture), with a generous side of bacon.

    I discovered this site in mid-February and have been living primally for that amt of time. I went from a tight size 34 to a loose 32″. I would have to say food is not the main expense in living primally, its the necessity of having to buy a new wardrobe! I’ve also stopped my blood pressure meds.
    I’m a pharmacist and I get to stand all day if I want, but I feel terrible in giving out most medications now that I realise that most of it is unnecessary and preventable. Customers notice a change in myself and if they ask I give them a rough outline of living primally as well as recommending your site. But I find most people are very reluctant to try it out.
    I really want to give you a heartfelt thanks for turning around my life. I wasn’t terribly out of shape to begin with, but I spent countless hours a week doing cardio and needed to take medications to control my BP.

    My ONLY indulgence is beer, of which
    I’ll have a few of on Saturdays only and a couple squares of Lindt 90%. I also drink Gatorade [500mls] when I play badminton (at a club for 2.5hrs twice a week). Is this consistent w the Primal lifestyle? I know its a lot of sugar but I figure I’m burning thru most of it– it also gives me energy thru the last hour.
    I’ve just ordered a copy of your book thru amazon.
    Thanks again!
    -Sonny 6′ 176lbs (was 185) in 6 weeks

  5. Shrimp and avocado salad has long been a favorite lunch. Even without any added flavoring, the two are a delicious combo. If no fresh tomatoes on hand or time to make salsa, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chili flakes are sufficient.

  6. This looks fab…getting really psyched for the cookbook …hope it has some menu planning info, all these recipes look fab but i could use some help in putting together a weeks worth of stuff that maximizes shopping, time etc.

  7. Fun trick for the avocado: after you’ve removed the pit, do all of your slicing or dicing while the meat is still in the rind, without puncturing the rind. This should be easy if you have a sharp knife. Then run a soup spoon along the rind and pop all the meat out. The meat should come out whole and then fall apart along the cuts. I’ve found this technique to be very effective, and less messy and less hard on the appearance, especially if you have a very ripe avocado.

  8. This seafood salad is the best! Not only have I had it more then once, but I know the cook!She’s my sister and this salad really does fill you properly, and great for summer!

  9. I tried the slow cook pork last week which was a winner and I am looking forward to making the seafood salad this week. Keep them coming! This should pair well with my Vibram Five Fingers – Jamie

  10. Yummy Yummy! What a great change from the everyday salad. Thanks Michelle for your tasty salad.

  11. I will definitely try this one. It sounds great. But will have to skip on the avocados. I love them but for some reason they just don’t love me 🙁

  12. this looks super delicious. I love avocados they are the best. I make killer guacamole, by the way.
    thanks for a great recipe!
    Its not that difficult to eat primal after all. I literally do not buy any of the “bad” stuff in the store and don’t have any at my house(except of ice cream). So I really make it inevitable for myself to eat healthy, because there is nothing else to eat 🙂
    try it – it works 🙂
    its a little tougher when you go to someone elses house and they make something, it would be not polite to refuse food or say you can’t eat this or that… oh well you just take one for the team in those cases, but don’t over do it. 🙂
    overall, once I started doing this. I feel fantastic. I have energy, do not get mood swings (due to usually well balanced blood glucose levels). I try to take walks every night as schedule allows before sleep, I exercise every morning and as result life is wonderful and everyday day becomes very special to me.
    thanks Mark and everyone involved! this blog is a blessing from universe to all of us 🙂

  13. strongzz I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye