The Recipes

Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Fritters

Ever searching for something new to do to a salad for a satisfying lunch, and in an effort to utilize some gorgeous feta I got from my lovely cheese shop as well as some of the leftover olive tapenade from last night's steak dinner, here is my creation:


Ingredients:

- Handful of arugula, or other greens you have on hand
- 1/5 of a red onion, chopped
- A one-inch section of feta, crumbled
- 1 roasted red pepper
- 2 T. pine nuts (toast if you're feeling fancy, but not crucial)
- Leftover olive tapenade from last night
- 1/2 zucchini
- 5 jumbo shrimp
- Salt
- Pepper
- Olive oil

First, in the center of the plate, I assembled a pile of arugula topped with some chopped red onion, roasted red peppers (from a jar), crumbled feta cheese, and a sprinkle of pine nuts.  I took some of last night's olive tapenade and put it into a teeny plastic container and added some water to thin it out, then snapped on the lid and shook away.  Presto!  Homemade olive vinaigrette.

The base finished, I took 1/2 of one zucchini and grated it on the large side of the box grater.  Note:  Grate it vertically to get long strands of the skin.  The meat of the zucchini just doesn't give the same texture as the skin.  Important:  Squeeze as much of the liquid out of the zucchini as you can!  Because I didn't use any other binder or bread crumbs, it's important to maintain the structure of the fritters.  Liberally salt and pepper the zucchini and form into two patties, about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.

On a separate cutting board (I invested $12 in a set of flimsy, plastic, color-coded cutting boards to help prevent cross-contamination in my kitchen), I pulled out five jumbo shrimp and liberally coated them with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. 

To the stovetop!

I heated a bit of olive oil in a small non-stick skillet until it was just barely smoking and gently laid the fritters in the skillet.  It took about 5 minutes to get a nice, crispy carmelazation on the first side of the fritter.  I made sure to use a very thin spatula (technically a fish spatula), but use whatever you've got in your kitchen.  Not all of us can have every gadget we see on TV! 

While the fritters were crisping nicely along, I heated my grill pan.  Now, I have a big, indoor grill pan that covers two burners and one that is just a single-burner grill pan, but the shrimp could easily be sauteed in another skillet... or in the fritter skillet once those are cooked.  Once I flipped the fritters, I placed my shrimp onto my grill pan.  Once they turned pink and started to curl slightly, I flipped them over.  Really, they only take a minute or two per side.  Once cooked, I squeezed the juice of one lemon over the shrimp.

I laid the two zucchini fritters on one side of the salad, and flanked the other with the five shrimp.  Num, num, num!