Sunday, January 3

Recipe Share: a simple shrimp salad appetizer that delights!

 A Perfect Start To a Hearty Meal:
 Tamara's Shrimp Salad 
with Celery, Mango and Avocado
On a Bevvy of Greens
table linen and napkins, Root Cellar Designs
This New Year's Day we invited friends over for dinner.  I like to entertain on New Year's Day, and there are less expectations over the big New Year's Eve celebration.  New Year's Day has a celebratory, low-key vibe, and it is a perfect time to break bread with friends while reflecting upon the year ahead. This day I hosted 12 people in our small dining room in New York City, so it was important to prepare dishes easy to serve, and also one that does not require my attention in the kitchen all throughout the evening.  For the main course, I turned to my trusty boeuf bourguignon recipe, and this one I originally adapted from Julia Child's classic recipe.  I've tweaked it over the years, and it's tried and true. This dish packs a lot of  flavor, and the more you cook it the more tender and flavorful it becomes.  I make it earlier in the day, and simply heat it up for guests.  This time I made it with less broth so it almost had the consistency of a pot roast.  Because we had a guest allergic to mushrooms, we nixed them from the recipe, but kept the pearl onions, carrots and peas.  We served it on mashed potatoes with a side of  spinach and garlic.  Because this was a heavy meal, I wanted a light fragrant appetizer.  I started with a simple classic French shrimp salad recipe pulled together with mustard, lemon and thyme, then created my own combination of ingredients to make a salad.
The medley of shrimp with the crunch of finely chopped celery, sweetness of the mango and the nutty flavor of the avocado works well together.  When served on top of a trio of these lettuces and lightly dressed, 
it makes a wonderful, versatile year round salad that is just as suitable for New Year's as it is for a summer evening soiree.  It will become my new go-to salad when I want something a little bit fancy.

1 dozen shrimp, cooked, deveined and shelled.  coarsely chopped.
1/2 avocado chopped
1/2 mango chopped
dollop of good mayonnaise
3 teaspoon of French mustard
1 teaspoon of finely chopped thyme
coarse pepper and kosher salt (to taste)
juice of one lemon (seeds removed)
combine all ingredients (except avocado and lemon) 
toss then add the avocado last and at the end the lemon.  
Refrigerate for 30 minutes
arrange a few pieces of different lettuces on a salad plate 
 (radicchio, endive and butter)
scoop a large spoonful of the shrimp salad into one endive
one slice of avocado 
a few mango sprinkled on the plate

combine 1 part balsamic vinegar and 2 parts Olive Oil
with Herbes de Provence in a bowl and whisk
lightly dress the salad 
and serve