Maro Desjardins

This hearty salad is healthy, delicious and satisfying.  It is easy to put together and makes for a beautiful presentation on a hot summer evening.  The creamy dressing is full of cucumber, fresh herbs and adds just the right amount of bright flavor to pull it all together.  Starting out with great gulf shrimp is essential, and a quick sear and a sprinkling of Old Bay is all you need to make this a memorable and wholesome offering. When I am at my home on 30a, I always rely on Buddy’s Seafood for my seafood.   I suggest you use Persian cucumbers for the dressing; not only do they have great flavor, but they have less water than the normal cucumber which helps render a perfect consistency to your dressing.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

for salad:

  • 1 1/2 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • flour for dusting shrimp
  • 1 romaine heart, sliced
  • 16 ounces mixed baby greens of choice
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 avocados, diced
  • 1 bunch chopped chives, for garnish

for dressing:

  • 1/2 cup greek non-fat yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup mixed herbs of choice (parsley, dill, chives or basil)
  • 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  To make dressing, place cucumbers, garlic and herbs in food processor.  Pulse to combine until fine.  Add yogurt and buttermilk and continue to process adding vinegar and oil in a steady stream.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large, wide serving bowl, place greens to fill bowl.  In rows, begin arranging the tomatoes, eggs, radishes, bacon and avocados on top, leaving a row in the center for shrimp.  To prepare shrimp, heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet with oil.  Pat shrimp dry and season with Old Bay and dust lightly with a bit of flour to coat and absorb any excess moisture on the shrimp. This will insure a nice crispy exterior to your seafood.  When oil is hot, sear shrimp for about 4 minutes per side (in stages if necessary to avoid over crowding your pan). Remove shrimp from pan and place atop salad.  Drizzle half the dressing over salad, reserving remainder to serve on the side.  Garnish with fresh chives and enjoy!

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