Sunday, April 17, 2011

Market Saturday & Shrimp Caesar Salad

My local Saturday market is officially open for the season! I just so happened to have opening day off from work, so naturally, I had to go. I always have a great time at the market, even if I don't buy anything... there's just something so simply satisfying about getting up a little early on the weekend to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air with people who appreciate the same good things in life that I do. Plus, this year I'm really going to make a more conscious effort to eat locally. We all know how good it is for the environment as well as the local economy, and, let's be honest... the flavor of truly fresh food just can't be beat.

Of course, there's not much in season right now (at least not in southern Idaho) aside from spring greens, but there were lots of lovely starts! Seeing all of the brand new tomato plants and herb starters and fresh-picked tulips really made me wish I had a yard so I could garden!

My best friend (and maid of honor!) Sydney and her fiancĂ©e, Corey, shared the fun with me, and the company could not have been better. :)

After the market, Sydney joined me at home for a little homemade Caesar salad with lemon pepper shrimp! This is another recipe I've been dying to try - knowing that the boy wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole - and it seemed like the perfect lunch to enjoy on a beautiful spring day (while Dane was out of town, haha). And perfect it was! Light, full of complex flavors, and surprisingly filling, this salad lived up to every expectation. ...and, of course, it tasted even better with market-fresh romaine and a glass of St. Chapelle (local!) soft white wine, and the pleasure of wonderful company.

Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Shrimp
from The Food You Crave
makes 4 servings, about 325 calories each

For the Dressing
1/4 cup pasteurized egg substitute
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Salad
8 cups coarsely torn romaine lettuce

For the Croutons
eight 1/2-inch-thick slices crusty bread (about 2 ounces)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Shrimp
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Croutons
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
2. Brush both sides of the bread with the oil. Cut the garlic in half and rub it over both sides of the bread. Sprinkle both sides with salt.
3. Cut the bread into cubes and spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is crispy and golden brown, stirring twice, about 10 minutes.

For the Shrimp
1. Preheat a saute pan or grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill.
2. Toss the shrimp with the oil, add the salt, pepper, and lemon zest and toss again. Grill until just cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side.
3. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

For the Dressing and Salad
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg product, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the lettuce until well coated. Add the croutons and toss again to combine. Divide the salad between two plates and top each plate with the shrimp.

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