February 06, 2012

Shrimp, Radish & Hearts of Palm Salad

Ingredients:
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
14 oz jarred hearts of palm, sliced
1 bunch small red radishes, thinly sliced
greens from one bunch radish, torn (if large)

for the dressing:
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
zest from 1 lemon
salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the shrimp:
2 lb large shrimp
1 1/4 cup water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds


Directions:
Bring the water, bay leaves, peppercorns and mustard seeds to a boil in a large, lidded pot. Add shrimp. Cover and boil until fully cooked. Drain. Allow to cool slightly then peel. Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Set aside to cool further. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Add the celery, hearts of palm, radishes and greens to the shrimp. Toss to evenly distribute all ingredients. Drizzle with dressing, toss again to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours prior to serving.


My thoughts:
As most longtime readers know I am no big fan of winter. Luckily (and I hope I am not jinxing myself) it has been unseasonably mild and snow-free but still, winter in the mid-Atlantic means virtually no fresh, local foods and a reliance on greenhouse goods and squash that was picked in October. I am also not a big fan of "winter" food in general. Give me a fresh tomato any day. So it is always about this time of year that I start looking for something that at least tastes slightly summery yet can be made using ingredients that actually taste good now. Enter this salad. Radishes have been showing up at the store with their perky tops still on and tasting just as good as they do in early spring. I've decided not to question it but instead, to add them to this light, zesty salad. I chose ingredients that had a bit of a bite to them which made it seem slightly more wintery than say, a shrimp and dill salad. It was just what I needed to face another cold, dark day.