Whenever Elizabeth brings a salad to my attention, I get excited. As I have written about in the past, when she and I started out cooking together, I had a heck of a time getting plant matter onto the plate. Since then, we have found a tenuous path of wholesome, delicious veggies between big ‘ol mounds of green beans and broccoli (two she hates, sadly). While leafing through the Barcelona cookbook one weekend morning, she came across this offering and, without much of a fight, convinced me to make a play at it for a weeknight meal.
The cookbook suggests a dressing of reduced blood orange juice, unfortunately, winter is over (a strange sentence to write, to be sure). I used the navels which are still decent, although I made the mistake of using the juicer attached to the stand mixer which incorporated some of the pith into the mix. This made for a slightly bitter dressing and I will more careful with in the future. The greenery consists of arugula, and thinly sliced onions and fennel along with some orange sections (which I managed to extract cleanly, supreme). The salad is dressed with lemon, salt and olive oil, then the orange juice ‘sauce’.
The salad is topped, restaurant-style with shrimp. I would make a snarky comment about adding shrimp to justify raising the price of dish $8, but I will refrain. The recipe has a nice prep for them- a la plancha. Just like their squid recipe, they suggest blazing these shellfish on the hottest flat thing you’ve got in your kitchen. Since I have the gas range, I can leave my grill pan on the fire for several minutes on full blast until it can just about melt soft solder, then I throw on the shrimp. Ninety seconds per side and they are pink and ready for creative arrangement a top the salad. Next time, I want to squeeze a little lemon onto the shrimp before the high heat to give it a little more flavor. Still, a humble salad was a feast for two weary workers at the end of a long Monday, so, look for rest and enlightenment in simple places, dear readers. Until next time, cook on!