Monday, March 14, 2011

Shrimp & Spinach Salad

The sun is moving farther North everyday and we have had a time change. We are getting more sunlight and I am loving it. Winter still has us in it's clutches, but spring is just around the corner...I can tell. I have been trying to prepare for the arrival of spring.  I have made my spring cleaning list. More about that later. I have been thinking and dreaming about gardening as well. I have also started thinking about spring foods. We are starting to get sick of the standard winter fare of soup and stew. Lighter, fresher foods are starting to sound much better than the warm comfort foods of winter.

While I am very ready for spring to get here, there is nothing I can do about the weather.  I thought I would make a spring inspired salade for my lunch today. This is one of my all time favorite lunches. It is so simple and delicious, but it also does not need a pile of summer ingredients to be at it's best. Spinach is good year round these days as well as the avocados. The board of ingredients is perfect for a fresh salade during a time of year when local fresh ingredients are not available.

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper to the raw shrimp.  Toss the shrimp in the bowl with the oil and seasoning. 

Spread the shrimp out on a cookie sheet and bake it for five minutes in the oven.  Please trust me when I tell you that it is so worth buying raw shrimp and cooking it yourself. 

Now for the dressing.  This recipe makes enough for two salades.  I find it too hard to make a single serving of this dressing, so I make a double batch and keep it in the fridge for another salade the next day.  Add the orange juice concentrate, olive oil, Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper to a small bowl.

Then whisk the oil into the dressing.  It should thicken rather quickly.

You are making an emulsification, which is a fancy way of saying you are making a thick dressing.  :-)

The shrimp should be just about done by now.  You are looking for milky white shrimp.  If you overcook shrimp it gets tough, so you almost want a bit of a translucent look...but not grey.  Grey is still raw and you don't want that at all. 

Now we can assemble the salade.  I like grated carrots, diced avocados, green onions and mandarin oranges, but you can use anything you like. 

Just start layering your ingredients onto your spinach.  I start with the grated carrot...

then the avocado....

mandarin oranges...

green onions....

and the shrimp. 

Finally top it all off with the dressing.

I think of this as spring on a plate.  I LOVE this salade.  I hope you enjoy it too.  If you are totally opposed to shrimp, then some bite sized pieces of chicken breast would be a good substitute. 

Shrimp and Spinach Salade


1 Teaspoon Olive Oil - For the Shrimp
Salt and Pepper
8 Medium Sized Shrimp, Peeled and De-veined
1/4 Avocado, Diced
1/2 Cup Mandarin Orange Segments
1 Green Onion, Sliced
1 Large Carrot, Shredded
1 Tablespoon Thawed Orange Juice Concentrate
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil - For the Dressing
1 Cup Spinach Leaves


1. Pre heat oven to 400°F. Place shrimp on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until shrimp are no longer opaque.

2. In a small bowl, add orange juice concentrate, Dijon mustard, pinch each of salt and pepper, and two teaspoons of olive oil. Mix vigorously with whisk until dressing is combined.

3. Place spinach on a plate. Add avocado, shredded carrots, sliced green onion, orange segments and cooked shrimp to plate.

4. Pour dressing over salade. Serves 1. Enjoy immediately.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe click here.

I am linking this recipe to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

1 comment:

  1. As it warms up here salads become our main course. I can hardly wait to try this.