Thursday, August 21, 2014

Raw Zucchini Salad with Ginger/Cilantro Dressing and Grilled Shrimp

The key to making this summer dinner in 15 minutes will be getting your hands on a mandolin. It makes quick work of julienne-ing vegetables and creates a professional look with its uniform precision! If you don't have one (though I highly recommend it as they can run as cheap as $20 with various attachments) slice long veggie strands with a knife. You can use whatever veggies you like for this, but remember that you're serving it raw... Every time you add something to the bowl ask yourself how it will feel chomping through it in your mouth. Either make them into small pieces, or pick vegetables that crunch nicely. I used one very large and starchy zucchini, 1/2  head of radicchio, 1/2 a large cucumber, 1 apple, and 1/2 head of fennel. In a medium bowl, combine a few splashes of olive oil, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, a knob of fresh grated ginger, a dollop of grainy mustard, salt & pepper, a handful of chopped cilantro, and some honey if you like your dressing sweet. As a creamy bonus, 1 chopped avocado is really nice! Mix the dressing and veggies together and let marinade a few minutes, and up to an hour, while you make the shrimp. Peel 2 handfuls of large shrimp and season with garlic salt, parsley, and pepper. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet, toss in the shrimp and cook until JUST done, and no more. (See my aversion to rubbery shrimp in this previous post). Squeeze in the other half of the lemon juice and let it reduce in the pan while you swirl around the shrimp to soak up all the juice. If you overcook your shrimp, you're missing out on their sweet, buttery quality! Serve the salad and shrimp as fancy or as free-form as you like. It always looks a bit posh when you swirl the salad like noodles and pile the shrimp high on top.... but the camera never captures us eating things straight from the mixing bowl, so no judgment! :)

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