Vanilla-Infused Olive Oil and Lemon Granita Salad

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.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 day 9 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 day 9 hrs 55 mins
6 servings


  • vanilla bean

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (Optional)

  • 1 head butterhead lettuce

  • 6 large strawberries

  • 6 (3 ounce) fillets mahi mahi, patted dry

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 (per serving)

437 Calories
10g Fat
73g Carbs
16g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 437
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 104mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 27%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 70g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 31mg 154%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 498mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.