After weekends of sun and fun-filled BBQs and excessive feasting with friends, what I crave during the week is what people these days call "clean" eating.
I don't know how that label came about (does this mean we've been dirty eating all this time? hmm, maybe I shouldn't go there). But I do know that when I stay away from dairy and bread, and when I eat vegetables, legumes, and simple protein like shrimp, my body feels not so weighed down. Do you ever find that to be true for you?
This is a summer salad perfect for those midweek cravings for something light yet still filling. And it only takes 20 minutes to make, if that.
You just cook shrimp your favorite way, either sauté or grill. Toss them in a bowl with fresh baby arugula, halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, some canned or homemade white beans, onions, and a olive oil vinaigrette. Easy! The flavors play so well together.
When we cook shrimp, I've taken to brining them first. It really makes such a difference. Brined shrimp are juicier and hold onto more of their flavor. It does take an extra half hour, but worth it if you have the time!
Shrimp, Arugula, White Bean, Cherry Tomato Salad
It always helps to brine the shrimp before cooking. An extra step, but worth it if you have the time!
To brine the shrimp, mix together 4 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 3 Tbsp table or sea salt), 1/4 cup white sugar until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add one cup of ice and the shrimp. After 30 minutes (time it!) remove the shrimp and give them a quick rinse.
- 1 pound 16-20 count shelled and deveined shrimp
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 handfuls baby arugula leaves
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook the shrimp:
Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle on high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, working in batches of half of the shrimp at a time, add the shrimp and sauté a minute on each side to sear. (You can also grill the shrimp if you prefer.)
When the shrimp are barely cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside to cool. (The shrimp will continue to cook for a little bit after you remove them from the pan, and you don't want overcooked rubbery shrimp.)
Assemble the salad:
Put the drained beans, cut cherry tomatoes, diced onion, lemon zest, and arugula leaves into a large bowl. Fold in the shrimp.
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Gently fold the dressing into the salad and serve!