Hot day. Want some salad. Got some shrimp. Let's do something. Let's do a nice spiced and grilled shrimp on a bed of Arugula and Fennel and Parsley. Throw in some oranges. Make a lemon vinaigrette to top it off. Fresh. Light. And, with just a little planning, fast. This is what we'll be working towards...
So, first get your ingredients together.
For the Vinaigrette
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon
Salt And Ground Black Pepper
½ cup olive oil
For the Spice Rub
1 tbsp Spanish paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp ground fennel seed
For the Salad:
1 blulb fennel, thinly sliced, with half the fronds roughly chopped
4 Cara Cara oranges, peeled and sliced into supremes (use regular oranges if you can't find Cara Cara)
1 Serrano, seeds and ribs removed, minced
salt and ground black pepper
For the Shrimp:
1lb 31-40ct Shrimp, peeled, devined and tails removed
2 tbsp canola oil
Salt and ground black pepper
Grab your ingredients and get them stacked up to one side. Let's get our implements together. Get a big ol' salad bowl and set it to the side. Get both large and medium size mixing bowls and set them to the side. Grab a small bowl, a whisk and a fork. Get your cutting board and knife ready.
We're going to fire up the vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients but the olive oil into a small bowl and whisk well. Let sit for a couple of minutes so the salt dissovles. Slowly drizzle in the oilive oil, whisking like a crazy person the entire time until emulsified. Set aside. While it's still good if you serve right away, letting it set for 10-15 minutes allows the acid in the lemon juice to mellow the garlic a bit.
Spice Rub time. Throw it all in a regular ol' bowl and stir it with a fork. Set it aside.
Set a grill pan over medium heat (or if using a proper grill, go fire it up). Don't forget that it's sitting over there heating up. Since most grill pans on this earth are cast iron, remember to put a pot holder or a towel or something over the handle so you don't burn the beejeesus out of yourself by grabbing the handle after it's been heating up.
(Mostly) Assemble the salad.
Build it in layers.
Get the shrimp into the hot grill pan. Give it 2 minutes and then start flipping the shrimp with tongs. Give it about another minute. Add to the salad bowl. If, like me, you have a small grill pan, you'll have to work in batches, otherwise you crowd the pan and the shrimp steams instead of chars.
BAIN #1: If you don't have a grill or a grill pan, doing this in a skillet is fine. You won't get the smoky char but it will still be good. The only thing you'll do different is along with mixing in the oil with the shrimp like we did above, you'll add a tbsp or so to the skillet just to ensure you don't stick to the pan.
Serve it up. Put the remaining dressing on the table in case anyone wants another drizzle or two. Otherwise, divide the salad across four plates and you're good to go. It's nice, it's light, it's fresh. The spice rub gives it a nice earthy hint and the Serrano just a touch of heat. Start to finish, this took me 20 minutes with the longest part being peeling the shrimp. Great on a hot day and probably a pretty solid "I-want-something-fast" weeknight meal.