Saturday, August 2, 2014

Seafood Salad

This salad is probably one of my favorite dinners to make in the summer.   Paired with a mojito or a  rosé wine, it's fabulous.  It's light, healthy and so refreshing.  It's perfect after a day at the beach or the pool.  The sweet, crisp shrimp and champagne vinegar are a delicious combination.  I'll admit that it's not the quickest recipe.  There is a lot of chopping involved but it's completely worth it.  I like to get my mise en place set up the night before, meaning that I chop everything ahead of time, and then cook the shrimp the day I am serving the recipe.  That way the only thing I have to do is mix everything up!  And, my kids it eat!  That's the best part for me.  My kids have trouble with green vegetables but they are good seafood eaters.  Up until now, they wouldn't eat crab readily, but I told them after the fact and they both enjoyed it.  Try this recipe as soon as possible and I hope everyone enjoys their last month of summer!

Chopped and ready to mix.

I really like this rosé and it was delicious with the salad.

Dig in!

La Recette:

1 lb. shrimp (31-40 count) peeled and deveined*, tails on
1 lb. bluefin jumbo lump crab meat, picked through for shells
3-4 cups baby arugula (or another green that is similar - I happen to love arugula)
1/2 cup cornichons, finely chopped (cornichons are pickles made from tiny cucumbers - Trader Joe's are great)
1/2 cup pitted green spanish olives, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted and roughly chopped**
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons jalepeños, finely chopped, seeds and stems removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Scant 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon (squeezed on the salad right before serving)

Cutting Board
Chef's knife
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Small colander (for the capers)
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Large mixing spoon
1 large mixing bowl
1 small mixing bowl
Balloon whisk
Large serving platter

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
-Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the shrimp on the sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
-Bake for 7-8 minutes until light pink.  Remove from the oven and remove the shrimp immediately from the baking sheet.  I usually lift the aluminum foil off of the baking sheet and carefully transfer it to the counter top.  This way the shrimp won't overcook.  Let the shrimp come to room temperature.
-Combine all of the chopped ingredients, cornichons, olives, red onion, celery, red pepper, parsley, jalepeños, and capers into a large bowl.  I have to quickly sauté the onions and celery.  My husband, Jake, can't eat raw celery so I sauté it for 3-4 minutes.  I add in the red onion just to take the bite out.  It's still crunchy and the colors are still vibrant.  If you don't have this situation, it's not necessary.
-When the shrimp is cool add it into the large bowl as well.
-Add in the crab meat and mix everything really well.  You want to see all of the colors evenly distributed in the salad.
-In a small bowl, whisk the extra virgin olive oil,  champagne vinegar, salt and pepper together.
-Pour it over the salad and mix again really well.
-Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to let all of the flavors come together.
-After 20 minutes, remove the salad from the fridge and cut the lemon in half.  Squeeze the lemon juice on top, catching any seeds.
-You can use a large serving platter or plate individually.  If you plate individually, divide the greens up evenly onto each plate.  If you choose to use a large serving platter, arrange the arugula on the platter and place the salad on top.
-Serve immediately and enjoy!

-Serves 4 adults

*See my video in quick kitchen tips on how to peel and devein shrimp
**You can buy roasted red peppers but I like to roast my own.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Cut the pepper in half, seeds and stems removed and place on a baking sheet, skin side up.   Roast for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a medium sized bowl.  Cover with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes.  The skin will peel right off and then you just need to chop when they are cool enough to handle.  I like to do more than one at once and they can keep in the fridge for about one week.  They are great on sandwiches or in dips.  You can also char them on the grill or stove top if you have a gas range.

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