Summer Shrimp & Beet Salad Daze

This elegantly styled salad is a perfect way to end summer and “beet” the heat.  Inspired by bountiful produce, this salad makes the most of colorful fruits (yes tomatoes are fruits), herbs and vegetables. Yellow beets add a rich warm feel to the plate.  Grilled shrimp makes it perfect for those warm nights when a heavier meal doesn’t seem appealing. Assorted tomatoes and delicate greens finish the presentation in high style. A step by step recipe and instructions for recreating this artful salad are below.

 

Summer Shrimp Salad Daze

Serves Four

Salad Components

12 medium Gilled Shrimp Tails, basted with White Balsamic Tomato Vinaigrette and cut into bite size pieces

1 Bunch Upland Cress (Watercress), Cleaned, Dried, Stem Removed

4 to 5 Medium Yellow Beets, Two Ways, Cleaned, Blanched, and also Marinated

1 Head Butter Lettuce, Cleaned, Dried, Torn into Bites Size Pieces

2 Green Onions. Cleaned, sliced fine

1 Box Assorted Small Tomatoes, Yellow Pear, Cherry, Etc (4 per plate, plus a handful for the vinaigrette)

Fresh Dill Sprigs, Cleaned and Trimmed

Kosher and or Flake Salt

 

White Balsamic Tomato Vinaigrette

1 handfull of assorted, mini multi colored tomatoes

½  Shallot finely chopped (Use less if it is very strong)

1 1/2 cups Blended Oil ( 3 parts Safflower Oil or Grapeseed Oil and 1 part Olive Oil)

1/2 cup White Balsamic Vinegar

1 teaspoon water

Salt

White Pepper

 

Beet Marinade (Blend and Reserve)

½ cup Blended Oil (2 parts veg oil to 1 part olive oil)

½ cup White Balsamic Vinegar

Salt

White Pepper

 

Step 1 – Make Vinaigrette

The basic formula is 3 parts oil to one part acid.  The shallots will act as an emulsifier or binding agent. Combine tomatoes, Shallot, & Balsamic in a blender or food processor.  Slowly add oil, water and seasoning and blend till creamy.  Strain if desired to remove any tomato seeds or flesh.  Reserve.  Can be made a week in advance. Store in the refrigerator covered.

Step 2 – Marinate & Grill Shrimp

Toss clean, deveined shrimp with a small amount of white balsamic vinaigrette to coat. Brush grill or grill plate with oil & add shrimp once sizzling hot.  Grill shrimp approximately two minutes per side or till opaque. Remember they will continue to cook after removing from the heat.  Reserve. Can be made a day in advance.

Step 3 – Prepare Beets

Blanch 2 beets in boiling salted water.  In a large pot, bring water to boil and add salt once it begins to boil. The water should be salty like seawater.  Add two to three scrubbed clean beets and reserve one to two to marinate.  Boil beets for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until fork tender.  Remove from water and shock in ice water to stop cooking.  Reserve and peel when cool to the touch. Peel the remaining beet(s) and slice ultra thin.   Using a mandolin for this task.  The beet(s) should be paper thin.  Place in an airtight container and cover completely with the beet marinade.  Add cooked and quartered beets on top of the sliced beets in the container.  Reserve. Can be prepared 3 to 5 days in advance if fully submerged in marinade.

Step 5 –Prepare Tomatoes

Slice assorted tomatoes and place in separate containers.  Be creative and slice some in half, some in small discs, some in quarters. The goals is to get an assortment of shapes and small bite sizes. Can be prepared one day in advance.

Step 6 – Plate & Serve

Look at your plate like a clock, with twelve o’clock being above and 3 o’clock on the right.  Drizzle your vinaigrette in a circle about an inch to 3 inches in from the rim of the plate. Obviously, a larger circle will end up being a larger portion.  Start by placing some green at 11 o’clock and work towards 5 o’clock layering your salad components.  Follow the attached photo and create your masterpiece.  The grilled shrimp will be the center focal point. Build all four plates, by layering one ingredient at a time and working down to the last plate. Add some colorful tomatoes at 8 o’clock and finish with more vinaigrette, dill, green onion and Kosher or flake salt. Serve immediately.

Shrimp Summer Salad Daze

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