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The combination of sweet and tangy and hot and cold in this salad will leave you craving more! Impress your guests with this appetizer salad for foodies and friends alike. Make sure to make the infused oil and lemon granita at least a day ahead! If serving as a main dish, double the amount of ingredients used, and serve with larger pieces of fish.


Recipe Summary test

30 mins
10 mins
1 day
1 day
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Split vanilla bean lengthwise with the tip of a sharp knife. Holding the pod open, scrape seeds from each half using the flat side of your knife.

  • Combine vanilla bean, scraped seeds, and olive oil in a small saucepan over very low heat. Warm the oil until fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, about 5 minutes. Strain into a small bowl and refrigerate, at least 1 day.

  • Combine sugar, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a pot over medium-low heat; heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let granita mixture cool, about 10 minutes.

  • Pour granita mixture into a freezer-safe baking dish and freeze until half-way frozen, 1 to 2 hours. Scrape thoroughly with a fork. Freeze, 8 hours to overnight, scraping granita again the following day.

  • Place 6 large leaves of lettuce on 6 serving plates. Chop the remaining lettuce and divide among the lettuce leaves. Slice each strawberry and fan out on each plate.

  • Season mahi mahi with salt and pepper and cook in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Divide mahi mahi among plates.

  • Scrape out 1 tablespoon of granita, form into a ball, and place next to mahi mahi. Repeat for remaining plates. Drizzle vanilla-infused olive oil over each plate.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute another variety of lettuce for the butterhead lettuce if you prefer. Substitute strawberries for another type of fruit if preferred. Use another type of white fish in place of the mahi mahi if desired.

Granita can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in a freezer-safe tupperware until ready to use. Mix thoroughly with a fork before using. Leftover granita is great floated in champagne, or by itself as a tangy dessert!

Nutrition Facts

437 calories; protein 16.4g; carbohydrates 73g; fat 10g; cholesterol 62.4mg; sodium 103.9mg. Full Nutrition