Whether you are entertaining 10, 20 or even 40 or more guests, do you want a light and flavorful salad that satisfies your guests with refreshing summer seasonal produce and plump sweet shrimp from our own local waters that will please everyone? relax a bit and enjoy your party. This recipe is actually my favorite, it is sure to impress your friends at any time and be a hit at any backyard gathering.
For the shrimp marinade:
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons of Spanish smoked paprika
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 extra large shrimp (U-12), peeled and divided
For the citrus vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup olive oil
For the salad:
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
4 loose cups tender, broken lettuce, such as red oak and lolla rossa
1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
1 mango, peeled, seeded and diced
1 Haas avocado (or Florida avocado), peeled, seeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the marinade:
Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the marinade. Add the shrimp to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 3 and up to 6 hours.
Make the vinaigrette:
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard, zest, and reserved marinade. While whisking, drizzle the oils to form a smooth vinaigrette. Set aside.
Prepare the salad:
Remove shrimp from marinade; Remove excess marinade from shrimp.
Season the shrimp, to taste, with salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a bowl, combine the onion, mango, and avocado. Dress lightly with a little vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In another bowl, lightly toss the lettuce with a little vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
Place the salad in the center of a platter and surround with the shrimp. Pour some of the dressing over the shrimp and serve. (Reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use.)
Pair this salad with a main dish or serve it alone with some cool summer cocktails. Want to add a ‘sparkle’ touch to an old favorite? Try a Cucumber Basil Martini, courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine.
Cucumber basil martini
1 spoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of hot water
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
A 3-inch piece of cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced, plus 1 round for garnish
3 fresh basil leaves, 2 broken
2 ounces of good gin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the hot water. Press the grated ginger through a fine strainer placed over the bowl, releasing the juice.
In a cocktail shaker, mix the diced cucumber with the 2 broken basil leaves. Add the ginger syrup, gin, lime juice, and a handful of ice. Shake well, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish the martini with the cucumber slice and remaining whole basil leaf and serve.