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I love shrimp. So when I do eat it, I try to buy the best-quality shrimp* that I can and cook it simply.
This recipe is incredibly quick and easy, so it's perfect to throw together for dinner when you want something light and healthy.
*Note: I usually purchase large, never-frozen, unpeeled shrimp. This might not be possible depending on where you live, but that's the goal to aim for. I usually ask my fishmonger to peel and devein the shrimp for me because it can be a somewhat messy and smelly process at home.
- ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dressing
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 pound arugula
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon
Wash the shrimp and pat dry. In a mixing bowl, combine the shrimp with the olive oil, generous amounts of salt and pepper, and the cayenne.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then add the shrimp. Cook for 1½ minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. (Be careful not to overcook or the shrimp will become rubbery). Set the shrimp aside.*
Toss the arugula in a bowl with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Squeeze the lemon into the bowl and drizzle with a round or two of olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add pepper, toss and taste. Reseason as needed. (You might not need to add salt to the dish since there will already be some in the cheese).
Serve alongside the shrimp or lay the warm shrimp on top of the salad. Enjoy!
*Note: If you'd like to eat the shrimp when hot, then make the salad first.
- 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 8 cups lightly packed baby arugula (about 5 ounces)
- 16 raw jumbo shrimp (13-15 per pound see Tip)
- 8 very thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), cut in half lengthwise to make 16 strips
Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add arugula and toss to coat.
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails on. Pat dry and sprinkle both sides with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Wrap 1 piece of prosciutto around each shrimp.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the shrimp and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and repeat with the remaining oil and shrimp, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve the shrimp with the arugula salad.
Tip: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, &ldquo21-25 count&rdquo means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as &ldquolarge&rdquo or &ldquoextra large,&rdquo are not standardized, so to get the size you want, order by the count per pound. Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as the Marine Stewardship Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America--it's more likely to be sustainably caught.
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup mango (diced)
- 1/4 cup papaya (diced)
- 1 avocado (diced)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh mint
Prepare the marinade for the shrimp by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper.
Add the shrimp to the marinade.
Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes then fire up the grill to medium heat. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side, then prepare the salad by adding the arugula, mango, papaya and avocado to a large bowl.
Next, squeeze the tbsp of lemon juice and olive oil over the salad. Add the shrimp and toss well. Top with the fresh mint.
Shrimp & Arugula Salad with Preserved Lemon Dressing
- Calories 171
- Fat 7.4 g (11.5%)
- Saturated 1.1 g (5.3%)
- Carbs 4.0 g (1.3%)
- Fiber 0.5 g (2.0%)
- Sugars 2.7 g
- Protein 23.2 g (46.4%)
- Sodium 139.3 mg (5.8%)
raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
small or 1/2 large preserved lemon
loosely packed baby arugula
loosely packed fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large ice bath. Boil the shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain and move the shrimp to the ice bath to chill. Once chilled, drain the shrimp and pull out any remaining ice cubes.
Discard the flesh of the preserved lemon and rinse the peel thoroughly. Roughly chop the preserved lemon peel — you should have about 1/4 cup. In a blender or food processor, process the preserved lemon, lemon juice, and honey until mostly smooth. Add the olive oil and blend until smooth.
Toss together the arugula, parsley, and chilled shrimp. Toss with the preserved lemon dressing just before serving.
You can boil and chill the shrimp and make the dressing the day before. Just toss and combine.
Arugula Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette & Spicy Shrimp
A serendipitous March-break lunch at Piattini Wine Cafe in Boston provided the inspiration for these shrimp, which are spicy with dry mustard and black pepper, not cayenne. This salad is very fresh with citrus flavours predominating and cooling bits of grapefruit that are a perfect foil to the spice of the shrimp—and the bite of the arugula. Shrimp size is measured by the number per pound so for dramatic looks choose size 13 to 15s, however, I prefer size 21 to 24s for best texture and taste.
1 lb (500 g) large tail-on raw shrimp, defrosted
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
½ tsp (2 mL) finely ground black pepper
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil, divided
2 medium grapefruit
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 25 mL) seasoned rice-wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp (1 mL) Dijon mustard
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed baby arugula
4 cups (1 L) lightly packed baby spinach or torn romaine
1. Peel shrimp if needed, leaving just tails attached discard shells. Dry shrimp well with paper towels. Stir garlic with thyme, zest, pepper, salt and mustard until well combined. Rub all over shrimp drizzle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Toss until evenly coated. Cover and promptly refrigerate for up to half a day.
2 Section grapefruits by removing outer rind and membrane with a chef’s knife. Then holding fruit in hand over a large bowl, cut between inner sections leaving rubbery membrane behind. Squeeze juice from membrane into bowl to use for dressing.
3. Measure out ¼ cup (50 mL) grapefruit juice. Stir with 1 tbsp (15 mL) vinegar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, garlic and Dijon taste and add remaining vinegar if needed. Set aside. Drain remaining juice from sections drink or save to put in a smoothie at another time.
4. When ready to serve, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add shrimp all at once. Sauté, turning frequently for 7 to 9 minutes (a bit longer if using size 13 to 15 shrimp), or until hot, pink and firm.
5 Toss arugula and spinach mixture with dressing. Portion onto plates dividing equally, drizzle with any remaining dressing in bowl. Top with grapefruit sections and shrimp. Serve right away.
Spicy Shrimp and Pickled Cucumber Asian Salad
In a large bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Sriracha. Mix until well combined and sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Place thinly sliced cucumbers in a bowl. Stir in salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze water out from cucumbers.
Fold nori sheets into thirds. Using kitchen shears cut the nori into thin short strips. Add cucumbers, sliced shrimp, red pepper, nori, and sesame seeds in the bowl with the dressing. Toss until well combined. Season with more pickled ginger and Sriracha if desired.
There is a sushi restaurant in Tulsa called In The Raw that I love and desperately miss. There are two locations, and both have a great atmosphere and super fresh, delicious sushi. But what I miss most of all is their amazing spicy tako salad. I rarely ever order the same thing twice at a restaurant because I usually like to work my way through a menu. But whenever I visit In the Raw, I always order their spicy tako salad.
You may be a little confused right now. Why am I talking about a sushi restaurant but mentioning&mdashand misspelling&mdashtacos? When I say tako, I am referring to tako sunomono, which is a Japanese cucumber and octopus salad in a sweet vinegar dressing. In The Raw has a fabulous tako salad and I have been seriously craving a bowl. But it&rsquos over a four-hour drive away. And as much as I love it, I&rsquom just not driving four hours.
The nice thing about being a food blogger is that I can attempt to replicate my favorite but inaccessible dishes, and call it a work project. After all, I&rsquom not going let a four-hour drive come between me and an insistent craving. Unfortunately, I couldn&rsquot get my hands on octopus, so I use cooked shrimp instead. And it worked great!
Personally, I love octopus. If you can find it and are willing to try it, by all means, use octopus instead of shrimp. But since octopus isn&rsquot readily available (or readily eaten) in the U.S., I thought shrimp would make a great substitute.
This Spicy Shrimp and Pickled Cucumber Asian Salad is easy and simple to put together. It&rsquos fresh, light, flavorful, and I love the crunch from the cucumber. It&rsquos a great salad to serve on a warm day.
Rice salad with shrimp and arugula
YOU GATHER with family and friends in the evening as the heat of the day starts to fade and the first cool ocean breezes begin to blow in, thick and sweet as honey. The bright white light of afternoon gradually dims to twilight’s shades of blue and gray. In the air hangs the summer garden smells of baked earth and herbs.
There’s no better time to sit around the backyard to talk a lot and eat just a little.
Let’s face it: Late-summer nights are perfect for entertaining but not so great for cooking or eating three-course meals. This kind of weather calls for a different battle plan for dinner. Rather than a full-frontal attack on hunger, it’s better in summer’s heat to overwhelm the enemy with lots of little bites. And if those dishes can be put together without heating up the kitchen or firing up the grill, so much the better.
If you can toast bread, chop tomatoes and slice some sausage, a small-bites feast is a breeze. Call it antipasti, mezzes or tapas or just plain old appetizers, this spread is the perfect way to eat throughout the evenings of September and early October. Plan a filling dish or two to serve as anchors -- such as a rice salad or a frittata -- then at the last minute assemble an assortment of accompaniments based primarily on staples you have on hand, such as spiced almonds, bruschetta, home-finished olives, stuffed peppers and dried sausages.
Do the real cooking in the cool of the morning, then the only thing you need to do before serving is let the food warm to room temperature.
The menu can be elaborate enough to rival a small tapas bar, or it can be as simple as sliced sausage, spiced almonds, cured olives and a room-temperature frittata.
To make a good assortment of small plates, just stock up on some high-quality pantry goods, grab some fresh and seasonal ingredients and master a few basic techniques that can be adapted in a mix-and-match way.
Can you make toast? Good, you’re halfway to bruschetta or crostini (hint: when you’re doing a bunch of toast, it’s easier to bake the bread slices in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes). The light but sturdy texture of sourdough works best, but whether it comes from slicing a long, thin baguette or cutting pieces of a round boule is up to you.
THE LIST of ideas for toppings is almost endless: marinated fresh cheeses, flavored spreads, chopped tomatoes or vegetables either raw or cooked, little bits of canned anchovies, sardines or tuna. The first step should always be to rub the hot, toasted bread with a cut piece of garlic and then to moisten it slightly with olive oil.
In fact, if you’re planning a big spread with lots of other dishes, you can stop right there. There’s nothing more elegant.
Spiced almonds are another almost-instant appetizer. The classic Spanish technique calls for deep-frying them in olive oil. Nuts cooked this way taste wonderful but are often a little too greasy.
Instead, moisten a cup of raw almonds with just half a teaspoon of good olive oil and stir-fry them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they begin to crackle and send up a toasty aroma. This will take only about two or three minutes. Remove them from the heat and sprinkle with salt.
They’re good just like that, but also try flavoring them with a little cumin and a dash of pimenton, the smoked Spanish paprika. Instead of pimenton (or in addition to it), use ground chile. Or toss the almonds with minced, fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary or thyme, or all three.
Every refrigerator should contain a jar of home-finished olives. Take commercially cured black or green brined olives, give them a good rinse and pat them dry. Season them, finishing with a healthy shot of good olive oil, and lemon or orange juice or red wine vinegar.
This takes five minutes and makes even canned olives taste like a million bucks. They’ll last for months in the refrigerator just let them reach room temperature before serving.
Piquillo red peppers are another canned food that’s handy to have in the pantry. They’re small enough to make perfect bite-sized containers for fresh mozzarella or goat cheese or even canned tuna and mayonnaise..
Arrange the stuffed peppers on a plate and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of minced garlic and parsley. Serve them on toasts or spear them with toothpicks so they’ll be easy to handle.
For the meal’s centerpiece, choose rice salads and frittatas, which have the heft of main courses but are light enough to serve as part of a small-bites dinner. Both are almost infinitely variable and can be made in advance and served at cool room temperature.
Making good frittatas takes practice, but once you master the technique, you’ll find yourself cooking them all the time. There are several approaches, but here’s the one that seems to work best: Cook the vegetables just enough to soften. Stir them into beaten eggs along with some grated Parmesan cheese. Pour into a medium-hot nonstick skillet (you can stir the top gently to distribute the ingredients, but not the bottom or you’ll risk sticking).
Reduce the heat to low and cook the eggs slowly until they are almost set. When there is just a thin layer of uncooked egg on top, stick the pan under the broiler just long enough to finish the cooking, and brown the top slightly. Let the frittata cool briefly before removing it from the pan.
You can make a great frittata with shredded zucchini, sauteed onions and red bell peppers, asparagus or mushrooms -- there are so many possibilities.
Rice salads are just as flexible but even easier to make. Here’s a trick: Cook the rice as if it were pasta, in plenty of rapidly boiling water. This way the grains won’t be coated in sticky starch and clump together they’ll stay light and separate. Cook it a little longer than you might think, because the rice will firm up as it cools.
Dress the warm rice with oil and lemon juice or vinegar because once it cools, its waxy starch hardens and prevents the seasoning from penetrating the grains.
Rice salads can be baroque or simple, made with slivered prosciutto, diced salami, cooked vegetables, pieces of firm cheese, chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs -- just about anything you can think of. To prevent wilting, fold in the raw ingredients right before serving. Taste for salt and vinegar and don’t be shy. Rice is slightly bland, so these salads should be highly seasoned.
Mound the salad in a bowl and surround it with small plates of almonds, sliced salame, olives, bruschetta and more. Make sure the ice bucket is full of chilled rose, and put Sarah Vaughan and Astrud Gilberto on shuffle.
Just like that you’re ready for a dozen friends to come over and share a summer evening. Now, how cool is that?
Warm Shrimp Salad with White Beans and Arugula
When I worked at Sapore di Mare in the Hamptons, the menu featured a simple salad of perfectly cooked white beans, lemon, and a few slivers of fresh red onion served on a bed of arugula and drizzled with fruity extra-virgin olive oil. This jazzed-up version adds shrimp and tomatoes to the basic salad, and people ask for the recipe whenever I serve it. This recipe yields appetizer portions, but you can double it to create a more substantial entrée, ideal for an early autumn lunch served al fresco. Accompany with plenty of bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
Notes True: It is not necessary to rinse shrimp after shelling and deveining them—the water washes away a lot of flavor. To peel and devein: Use a paring knife to cut along the black line on the outside curl. Peel the shell away from the body and use the tip of your knife to clear away the intestinal vein.
To cook dried beans: Soak 1 pound dried beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain them, transfer to a heavy pot, and cover by a couple inches with water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 1 cup of olive oil, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook gently until tender. Timing varies according to the freshness and type of bean, but plan on about an hour. You will only need 1 cup cooked beans for this salad. Serve leftovers as a side dish, or use in soups.
If fresh cranberry beans are in season, use them instead of cannellini beans.
How to Make Arugula Salad More Ways Than One
There are plenty of ways to make this simple arugula salad to fit your meal, and your cravings. Here are three of my favorite ways:
- Lemon and Shaved Parmesan Arugula Salad: This is pretty much my go-with-everything, fast and simple side dish salad. I love it with its ribbons of Parmesan served on top of pizza or as a side to stuffed chicken thighs or easy gnocchi with pomodoro sauce.
- Arugula Salad with Apple and Parmesan: Slivered slices of apple sweeten the peppery flavor of arugula with the salty bite of spunky Parmesan cheese with super thinly sliced red onion. I like serving this salad alongside my chicken and white bean and butternut squash chili for a light bite to the meal.
- Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Arugula Salad: This version comes straight from my globally stocked pantry with toasted pine nuts with sun-dried tomatoes and chunks of Parmesan. This salad is terrific with any Mediterranean main dish, especially as a base for my Greek marinated chicken, and one of my favorite lunches.
How to Meal Prep this Easy Arugula Salad
This is a salad you can totally make with prepped ingredients that simply need to be combined together for an incredibly easy lunch at home or at work. But it’s also one that feels hearty enough for dinner too.
The ingredients are ones that will last a few days longer than some, even when prepped or made ahead, and most of them can be pulled straight from my pantry and freezer.
Raw shrimp : Shrimp is probably my number one freezer favorite because:
- Shrimp defrosts fast so it’s a quick lunch, dinner, or appetizer solution. For this salad I used Simple Truth jumbo shrimp that have already been peeled and deveined.
- Shrimp lasts in the freezer for 3-6 months.
- Shrimp is low fat and, high in protein and a good source for Omega-3 fatty acids. Shrimp is also said to be one of the 7 secret weapons for weight loss.
- Shrimp can easily be dressed up or dressed down (see my list of 31 Healthy Shrimp Recipes to Make in March).
Pesto : From arugula pesto to broccolini pesto to regular basil pesto, I love having the homemade stuff in my fridge, but when time is at a premium, you’ll find me reaching in my pantry instead. For this recipe I cooked the shrimp first, then dabbed them with the pesto and let them rest for that flavor to seep in. And they’re delicious eaten either hot or cold.
White beans : Canned white beans are a great source of protein and so incredibly easy to use, and add a solid bite with variety to the salad. I used Simple Truth cannelini beans to keep this somewhat Mediterranean flavor thing going but Great Northern or garbanzo aka chickpeas would work too.
Cherry tomatoes : I add the tomatoes to the pan while the second batch of shrimp cooks, just to soften a bit and add a touch of caramelization. Be careful not to overcook them or you’ll be using them as a sauce instead.
Wedge of Parmesan cheese : This is one cheese that I can keep in the fridge for what seems like eons. It’s hard. It’s salty. And it rarely spoils. Instead of using it fine, I use a vegetable peeler to get big shavings of it for a bigger Parm taste with each bite.
Marcona almonds : The softer and creamier version in the almond nut family, most often farmed in Spain, but now in California too.
Fresh lemon juice and olive oil : There’s no need for making a dressing when just a squeeze of bright lemon juice and fresh olive oil will do.
Because the name of this meal plan game is keep. it. SIMPLE.