If your palate is begging for a break from heavy holiday fare, perhaps there’s no way better to begin the new year than with a refreshing salad.
Layers of bright citrus and veggies are piled high, then topped with perfectly poached Galveston Bay shrimp and drizzled with a light ginger dressing. Delicious. Impressive. Healthy.
Shop for Texas-grown Rio Star grapefruit, if possible. This variety is much sweeter and the flesh is deep crimson. To select the sweetest Rio Stars, check the skin for wind scars. These marks form after very young fruit has rubbed or scraped up against a limb. As a result, the tree sends more sugar to the fruit to heal the wound.
Shrimp Stack Salad
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
6 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup water
1 cup pea shoots or sprouts
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup grapefruit sections, membranes
1 cup diced avocado
1 cup poached shrimp, roughly chopped, (See recipe below.)
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the ginger, sugar, lime juice, garlic and water. Refrigerate the dressing overnight.
To assemble each of the four salad stacks, tightly layer ¼ of each of the pea shoots, tomatoes, cucumbers, mango, onions, avocado and shrimp in a stainless steel ring mold. To remove mold, press down on the top layer while slowly lifting the mold upward to reveal the free-standing stack salad. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to form a total of four stacks.
Drizzle the prepared dressing over each stack and serve.
1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
½ tablespoon black peppercorns
1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 count per pound), peeled and deveined, if necessary
To poach the shrimp: Place 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Squeeze the juice of both lemon halves into the water, toss the squeezed halves into the water and add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice water. Remove the pan from the heat and add the shrimp. Cover and let stand off heat for 8 minutes.
Drain the shrimp into a colander, discarding the lemon halves, bay leaves and peppercorns. Immediately plunge the shrimp into the ice water and chill, about 3 minutes. This will stop the shrimp from overcooking. Drain the shrimp, roughly chop and transfer them to a large dry bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
Note: This recipe makes more poached shrimp than is called for in the shrimp stack salad recipe above.