Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Shrimp

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Shrimp

I brought three different food magazines with me on this vacation; the November issues started arriving at my house a few weeks ago but I saved them for the plane. I also knew I wanted to cook for Amy and Matt while we were here. (Eliot is still a little young for grownup food, but he does do this fantastic joy wiggle when you get a spoon of pureed whatever near him.) I salted a chicken on Monday morning to roast on Wednesday night but we wanted something lighter since we had scarfed some serious pizza the evening we arrived.

This salad from Fine Cooking caught my eye, but I made a few changes. I used green leaf lettuce instead of frisée because seriously, who likes frisée? and I added the suggested shrimp to "make it a meal" because we're on the gulf coast of Texas, shrimp is a thing here. This and a loaf of garlic bread (mix minced garlic with softened butter and some salt, spread on a split loaf of so-called Italian bread, wrap in foil, 20 minutes or less at 350) made a lovely light dinner. Added bonus: squeeze the leftover grapefruit carcasses and drink the juice for breakfast the next day!

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Shrimp
serves 4

You could also just skip the shrimp and eat this as a first course, the grapefruit and avocado combo is really nice.

1/2 head green leaf lettuce, cut into salad size bites
2 avocados, pitted, sliced
3 large grapefruits
1 medium shallot, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

First, make the salad dressing: combine the shallot, vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, a few grinds of pepper and a hearty pinch of salt in a bowl, let stand while you cut the grapefruits.

Use a zester to add about a teaspoon of grapefruit zest to the dressing, then cut the top and bottom off the grapefruits, exposing the flesh. Use your knife to carefully remove all the peel and pith from the fruit. Cut each segment out from the membranes (this is called a citrus suprème) and set the segments aside. If you do this over a bowl you can capture all the juice, then pour it off and drink it. Yum.

Whisk 1/3 cup of olive oil into the dressing, then taste it on a leaf of the lettuce. Adjust the seasoning with more salt or vinegar as necessary, if it's too acidic, add a splash more olive oil.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, then add a tablespoon of olive oil and the shrimp. Cook in one layer, flipping once, until the shrimp is cooked through and pink. Toss with the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt.

Arrange the avocado slices on plates, then toss the lettuce with about half the dressing (or more as necessary) and plate on top of the avocados. Nestle the grapefruit segments in the salad, and top with the shrimp. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the shrimp and serve

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