We’re still trying to beat the heat over here. After some urging from my husband and some browsing of recipe books, this week had been declared salad week. Just as the first tomatoes and cucumbers from my veggie garden were ready, so it was good timing. My poor vegetable garden hasn’t really been enjoying the heat and neither have my houseplants, we’ve already had more than one houseplant casualty and I’m trying my best to keep the rest of them alive. Even the grass outside has changed from the glorious green of a wet Spring to the dusty brown of a too-hot Summer.
This salad was the first we had for our salad week. I really like crunchy, bright and fresh tasting salads as opposed to limp and watery lettuce, so the red bell pepper and lemon juice really sealed the deal here for me. The shrimp adds a different texture and makes the salad filling enough for an entire meal instead of just a side, although I’m sure it would be great as a side to some outdoor grilling or as part of a picnic as well.
It’s not a fussy salad either, totally quick and easy to throw together. We enjoyed a relaxing Sunday at home, punctuated by brief moments of outdoor water play, returning to the relative shade of our apartment when the sun became too much for us. By dinner time we decided that it was still too hot to eat outside. I went out to grab some cucumber, tomatoes and parsley from the veggie garden, quickly threw this together and we ate in our living room instead, sitting in the shade with curtains closed, in front of the delicious coolness of an electric fan.
Tangy Shrimp & Summer Vegetable Salad
From Real Simple, Aug 2008. Serves 4.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 lb large peeled and deveined shrimp with 1 tbsp salt and cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water and put aside to cool.
Take 1 pint of cherry tomatoes and cut each one in half. Thinly slice 1 cucumber and cut the circles in half. Thinly slice 1 red bell pepper into long thin strips and slice 4 scallions. Chop 1 jalapeno and 1 clove of garlic. Put everything together into a large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice.
Let the mixture marinate for 5 minutes in the fridge before serving.