Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shrimp Salad with Cucumber and Fennel

Yesterday was the 4th of July. It was 85º and the dew point was 64º. As a refresher, any dew point above 60º is stinkin' uncomfortable. Your sweat will not evaporate. I had a bunch of people over and I grilled up 50 brats and 50 hot dogs. I think I lost 5 pounds of water weight in that grilling session.

The temp is going to hit 91º today and the dew point is slated to reach 68º.....which is essentially equatorial, tropical rain forest territory. My advice: do not grill. Stay inside. With the air conditioning on high. And make this incredibly easy salad that tastes just like summer.

You won't need your oven. Just a quick cooking of shrimp in water for 3 minutes. Stove top stuff that will not raise the ambient temperature in your house. You're going to pair that shrimp with fennel (gosh, that tastes like licorice!) and cucumber and top it with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.

This recipe will serve four if it is to be served as an entree salad. It will serve eight as a small side salad. The recipe was created by Alison Roman. And it really, really tastes like summer.

2 pounds small shell-on shrimp
Kosher salt
2 fennel bulbs, sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick, fronds reserved
1 English hothouse cucumber, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced into rings
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup (or more) fresh lemon juice
Coarsely ground black pepper
cup olive oil
½ cup small dill sprigs


  1. Cook shrimp in a large pot of simmering salted water until bright pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp and place in a large bowl. Add fennel, fennel fronds, cucumber, onion, and lemon juice and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Add dill and lemon zest and toss again; season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Top with more pepper just before serving.

Wine pairing: An oaky Chardonnay

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