Today, in Worcester, it’s raining. This means I might actually turn on my oven today to bake something. This morning, Al Roker told me my friends in Omaha are enduring a heat advisory today. So, while my sweat-factor and puffiness has drastically decreased (temporarily, though I still can’t get my wedding rings on), my poor friends in the Heartland are sweating it out…and still have to eat dinner. So, this is for you guys.
You can put anything on top of the salad you’d like, as long as there is a seafood element. Grill up some salmon if you’ve got it. Saute scallops in a bit of butter and olive oil. Throw in the extra anchovies (leftover from the dressing) to the mixed greens and incorporate within the salad. The lemon from the salad dressing will make any seafood you use stand out. Use garbanzo beans in place of – or in addition to – the artichoke hearts. I didn’t have any artichoke hearts and I hate myself for that. BUT, I did have every single other ingredient in the fridge/pantry, which was vindication. And capers…always make sure you have capers. They are such a clutch ingredient, whether you’re making a pasta dish with kalamata olives or clams, chicken piccata, an anchovy and tomato salad, or hosting Sunday brunch with lox and bagels. I use capers all the time! Which obviously means, you should too.
I’ve always been a fan of homemade salad dressing and this dressing solidifies why I make my own. Look in your pantry and fridge and make this salad as you see fit, because this salad is all about the dressing. Once you’ve got the dressing made, the salad is going to be awesome, especially on a hot-as-balls kind of day.
shrimp and artichoke salad (page 51, Savor the Memories)
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked (26 to 30 per pound)
2 cups canned artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons capers
1 pound mixed greens
(I also used some English cucumber slices and shredded carrots, but this is optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine shrimp, artichokes, red onion, and capers. Spread the greens onto a large serving platter. Set aside.
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh chives
8 sprigs fresh thyme
In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, anchovies, parsley, thyme, garlic, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive and canola oils just until incorporated. Stir in the salt and pepper. Pour over shrimp mixture. Toss gently. Place on mixed greens and serve at once with lemon slices, chopped chives, and thyme sprigs for garnish.
Note: The shrimp and artichoke salad can be made ahead, then refrigerated until ready to plate on the mixed greens.