An inventive way to make a salad is to not use any leafy greens at all. By shaving down asparagus and carrots, it makes these otherwise hard vegetables quite enjoyable to eat in their raw form. Coupled with blanched shrimp and a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing, this unconventional salad not only looks amazing on the plate; it is incredibly fresh and light, yet filling – perfect for a warm spring evening.
6 asparagus spears
2 medium carrots
1/2 pound medium-sized shrimp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Blanch the shrimp: Set up a large bowl of ice-water. In a medium saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cook the shrimp until they have turned pink and opaque (about 2 minutes), then transfer them to the ice-water bath until chilled. Drain and allow to dry.
2. Bend and snap off the tough ends of the asparagus spears, discard.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus and carrots into long ribbons. Toss together with the shrimp.
4. Whisk together the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, drizzle over the salad, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!
* Asparagus grows in many sizes. Use ones with thicker stalks, they are easier to shave into ribbons.
* This salad can easily go up a few notches with the addition of hard-cooked eggs and orange slices; the two flavors marry well with asparagus.
* I prefer to blanch the shrimp with their shells still on: they add more flavor, and are easier to peel after cooking.
* Blanching is the technique of cooking something in boiling water and then immediately shocking it in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. This method is ideal for shrimp, since they have a very short cooking time, and do not taste very good if over-cooked (they become rubbery).