As soon as the first winter snowflake hits the ground I start craving island flavors…fresh seafood, juicy tropical fruits…take me away from all of this chilliness!
This lovely Asian~inspired shrimp salad from one of my favorite cookbooks Perfect Pairings ~ A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food…Evan Goldstein and recipes by Joyce Goldstein hits all of the flavor notes I am craving.
Pair with off-dry or slightly sweet champagne/sparkling wine such as Moët & Chandon Champagne (France) or Mumm Napa Sparkling Wine (Napa Valley, California).
3 cups dry white wine or water or a combination
1 pound (about 16 to 20) jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2/3 cup peanut or olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I substituted 3 tablespoons of honey for the brown sugar in my vinaigrette)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or diced jalapeno chili, or more to taste
Salt to taste (I added freshly ground pepper to my vinaigrette)
2 ripe papayas or mango, or 1 cantaloupe (I added one blood orange, sliced, to my salad)
6 cups assorted lettuces
6 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
In a saucepan, bring the wine to a simmer over medium heat. Add the shrimp and poach until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Discard the poaching liquid.
For the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk the peanut oil, lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar (or honey) and red pepper flakes to blend. Season to taste with additional red pepper flakes, if desired, and salt and pepper.
Peel, pit, and dice or slice the selected fruit. If using papayas, cut them in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Dice or slice the flesh. If using mango, cut off the flesh on either side of the central pit. With a sharp paring knife remove the peel and dice or slice the fruit. If tropical fruit is unavailable, you can substitute slices of cantaloupe and blood orange slices.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lettuces, mint, and basil.
Toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and marinate for 5 minutes.
Add half of the remaining vinaigrette to the bowl with the lettuces and herbs. Toss to coat, and divide among individual chilled salad plates. Top with shrimp and fruit. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette on top and serve.
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