Every now and then I get a prize-winning recipe sent to me from some product-sponsored national contest that really gets my attention. This recipe for Connecticut Sea and Tree Salad is certainly one of them.

It was the first-prize winner in a contest called the All American Salad Toss-Up sponsored by Hellman's and Best Foods mayonnaise. The contest encouraged chefs to create healthy main-dish salads using only fresh ingredients. Robert Salich, director of education at the Connecticut Culinary Institute, was the winning chef.I have revised his delicious and unusual salad to be lower in fat and calories by using only half as much dressing and only half as many nuts. You can do the same thing to many of your own favorite salad recipes because most of them call for more dressing than you really need to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.

- EACH SERVING CONTAINS approximately 240 calories; 92 mg cholesterol; 10 gm fat; 565 mg sodium.

One-dish meals can be real timesavers for busy cooks. My pamphlet, Easy and Nutritious One-Dish Meals, contains some of my favorites from around the world. Order it for $1 and a double-stamped, self-addressed, legal-size envelope from One-Dish, P.O. Box 847, Gibbstown, NJ 08027-9911.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 18 cookbooks.

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Cook It Light

(Deseret News)

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1990 by King Features Syndicate Inc.

Connecticut Sea and Tree Salad

1/4 cup black-walnut pieces

1/4 cup calorie-reduced mayonnaise

2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar

11/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

11/2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 cups chunks of poached lobster meat, cut in pieces

1 small red apple, thinly sliced

1/2 cup leek julienne, blanched

1/2 cup fennel julienne, blanched

4 lobster shell halves

Lettuce leaves, for garnish

Apple slices, for garnish (optional)

Tarragon sprigs, for garnish (optional) Toast walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Watch carefully because they burn easily.

In a blender or food processor combine mayonnaise, vinegar, maple syrup, parsley, tarragon and nutmeg; process until smooth.

In medium mixing bowl combine lobster, apple, leek, fennel and toasted walnuts. Add dressing; toss to coat thoroughly. Serve salad in lobster shell half and garnish with lettuce, apple slices and fresh tarragon sprigs, if desired.

Makes 4 servings