Since my last post, salad consumption at home has increased by leaps and bounds, yay! It just feels right. And the scorching sun and overwhelming heat has kept me from delving into the recipe I had originally planned as the 2nd part of this salad series – one that requires lots of grilling. The growing a baby thing is definitely contributing to my extreme aversion to being hot since I can now only imagine spending most of the day inside relishing in the air-conditioned environment & NOT outside over a grill! So for this installment, I chose to stay inside and play with both cooling and warming ingredients. The Watermelon & Spicy Shrimp Salad highlights a spicy/smoky spice blend that coats the naturally sweet shrimp, paired with sweet, cooling watermelon. You’ll find a few other fun flavors in the mix. Enjoy!
- 2 Gypsy peppers
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 cup arugula, packed
- ½ small seedless watermelon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- ¾-1 lb shrimp, small (26/30) peeled and deveined, approximately 6-8 shrimp per plate
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- ½ tsp shallot
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp coriander
- ¾ tsp salt
- large pinch white pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place Gypsy peppers on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Drizzle the peppers with olive oil and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn peppers and roast them for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool then slice into thin strips and mix with cilantro and season with sea salt. Set aside.
- Combine the spice blend together in a medium bowl and mix the shrimp with this spice blend. If you happen to have a favorite spicy spice blend on hand, use that instead!
- Place a small saute pan on medium high heat and add about 3 tbsp of the 1/2 cup of olive oil, or enough to fully coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil starts to shimmer - but not smoke (if it does this, toss the oil and start over) - place as many shrimp in the pan as will fit in one layer. Watch them, as they will cook quickly. Once they begin to curl up slightly, turn them and cook for another 30 seconds. Place cooked shrimp on a plate with paper towel. Add additional oil to the pan as necessary. Once all of the shrimp are cooked, add a bit more oil and add garlic slices to the pan. Fry until golden - this will also happen quickly, so keep an eye on it. The garlic is done when it becomes fragrant and a golden color. Set aside on a paper towel.
- Combine the dressing ingredients with a fork or small whisk.
- To build salad: wash and dry arugula, divide onto 4 plates. Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut into 12 medium thick slices. Fan 3 slices onto each plate, right on top of the arugula. Top with a small mound of the gypsy pepper and cilantro combination. Divide shrimp onto each plate and then add the dressing, coating a bit of everything on the plate. Sprinkle with fried garlic slices.