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Friday, May 7, 2010

Moroccan Shrimp Salad

This simple salad is full of Moroccan flavors. It is savory, spicy, and perfectly balanced with a hint of sweetness from the oranges.

You can make the Pomegranate Vinaigrette and marinate the shrimp ahead, then finish it in minutes once you are ready to eat.

  • 1 organic unwaxed lemon
  • 1/2 tsp corriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing
  • 1 lb wild-caught prawns or large shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 1 cup cooked chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • 8 cups salad greens
  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette (recipes follows)

  1. Zest the lemon, which should yield about 1 teaspoon zest, and reserve the fruit.
  2. Use an electric grinder (or mortar and pestle) to grind the coriander seeds, crushed red pepper and cumin seeds. Add them to a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest, turmeric, ginger, sea salt and olive oil. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat evenly with the spice mixture. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for up to 2 hours. (If you are making this more than 2 hours in advance, transfer the shrimp to the fridge, then return to room temperature before cooking.)
  4. Mix together the Pomegranate Vinaigrette (recipe follows) in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Add the orange segments and chick peas, then toss to combine. Fill the rest of the bowl with salad greens and set aside while the shrimp marinate. (Do not toss the salad yet.)
  5. When ready to eat, preheat a grill pan (or skillet) over medium heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and cook until starting to brown, just a few minutes, then flip and brown on the other side until cooked through. Do not overcook the shrimp. Cooking time will depend on the size of the shrimp.
  6. While the shrimp cook, toss the salad greens with the chick peas, orange segments and vinaigrette. Arrange the salad on a serving platter or individual plates and top with the grilled shrimp. Squeeze the lemon halves over the shrimp and serve immediately.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:

I don't usually add salt to vinaigrette because I never feel it is missing. But some find it essential, so add a pinch if you wish.
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (concentrated pomegranate juice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

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