I didn’t realize how much seafood I normally eat until I got pregnant and had to start watching my mercury intake a lot more carefully. I’ve cut out the worst offenders altogether (swordfish and ahi, to name a couple), and I try to limit others to only once or twice a week. But ever since I found out that shrimp is super low on the mercury scale, it’s been my go-to seafood fix and I’ve been loving it straight off the grill tossed with linguine and olive oil or thrown into chilled salads like this one. This salad was born as a result of a new kitchen purchase (that I decided I needed after all the gadget recos in the comments on this post) – a handheld mandoline. I wanted to make a salad that made the most of my new tool’s ability to create perfect paper-thin slices – like these tiny seedless cucumbers and fennel bulb. I thought that grapefruit would add just the right amount of sweet/sour zing, avocado for necessary creaminess, and grilled shrimp to make it a substantial meal. This is definitely a salad I’m going to be making all summer…and probably for lunch today, in fact! Keep reading for the recipe…
Grapefruit, Fennel & Grilled Shrimp Salad
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 15 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1 English cucumber, thinly shaved crosswise on a mandoline
- 1/2 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Set vinaigrette aside.
- Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt & pepper. Preheat a grill pan over high heat and grill, turning once, 2 minutes per side. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Combine grapefruit, cucumber, fennel and avocado in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then toss very gently with a light amount of vinaigrette. Distribute between 4 plates, then pile 4 shrimp on top of each salad. Sprinkle chives and cilantro over top, and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette.
*images: Mike Bullock