Tasty Tuesday: Essence of Summer Supper Salad

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our nineteenth  participating post!

I may have eluded (vocab building project VBP) last week to Mom’s major food prep for her classes.  Her UMiami Med School Diabetic Peer Support Group class prepared three items.  One of the class participants put the finishing touches on the platter which wowed the class!

On Prep night #1, JJ and I, Mom’s faithful Kitchen K9s, provide QC (Quality Control) for:

  •  Tomatoes – Mom prepped 12 because of doubled recipe!
  • Chicken – before and after cubind…
  • String beans – before and after steaming…

This recipe arrived in Mom’s inbox via the The Splendid Table’s weekly Weeknight Kitchen newsletter.   Mom’s sharing all the comments, tips and notes since she cannot find a direct link online and did not want you to miss ANYTHING!  

Essence of Summer Supper Salad – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts hot salted water in a 6-quart pot
  • 1 lb. large to jumbo unshelled raw shrimp, or boneless chicken cut into ½ inch dice or firm tofu (Mom used chicken to stay within budget.)
  • 1 ½ lbs. green beans, trimmed of stem ends

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup cider or rice vinegar (Mom used cider vinegar.)
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. dark coarse mustard or Dijon (Mom used Dijon.)
  • 1/3 cup (or so) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

Finishing:

  • 4-6 delicious ripe tomatoes, vertically sliced ¼ inch thick (Mom used Roma, which was the least expensive, since this is NOT our tomato season.)
  • 15 leaves fresh basil, torn (budget did not permit and the salad was still yummy.)
  • 3 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon

Directions:

  • Bring the salted water to just below the boil then drop in the shrimp. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until shells start to turn pink and firm up. Don’t overcook. With a slotted spoon, immediately scoop the shrimp out of the water into a colander.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Rinse shrimp with cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Slip off the shells and season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Set aside. If holding more than 10 minutes, chill in the refrigerator.
  • Bring the water left in the pot to a full boil. As it heats, take a large bowl and whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, and garlic until well combined. Whisk in the olive oil until mixture comes together and is slightly thickened. Add the onions and toss with the dressing.
  • Once the water in the pot is boiling, drop in the beans. Cook over high heat, uncovered, until just beyond tender crisp, about 3 to 7 minutes depending on size of beans. Taste as you go to check for doneness. Drain beans in a colander, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Add shrimp and beans to bowl and toss until well combined. Taste for seasoning.
  • Arrange the sliced tomatoes around the rim of a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt. Pile the bean salad in the center and spoon on any remaining dressing. Sprinkle basil and scallion on top, then squeeze the half lemon over all.

Comments:

This is a recipe for right now & good tomatoes, new green beans and sweet onions practically trumpet summer, which is why the mustard-garlic dressing is distinctive yet not overwhelming. It’s a supporting player. With tomatoes peaking and heirlooms so popular, you might get your hands on some of the dark varieties with out-of-the-ordinary tastes, like Black Cherry (stunningly rich), Black Krim (tastes like good steak), Black Zebra (more delicate) or Paul Robeson (boldly sweet-tart). Green beans are the tomatoes’ backup along with sweet onions. Cook the beans just beyond tender crisp to open up all their character. Serve the salad with a loaf of rough country bread for sopping up the dressing. End the meal with the luscious Mango Sherbet from cooking teacher and author Bal Arneson. If mangoes aren’t to be had, use peaches or nectarines. If you can, use organic produce; I think you’ll like the results.

Tips:

  • With the shrimp and beans cooked and the dressing made a day ahead and refrigerated, the next evening you merely slice the tomatoes and assemble all on a big platter. Supper is ready in 10 minutes.
  • This recipe is a perfect showcase for heirloom tomatoes. Every year seems to bring a greater variety at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Try some that are new to you.

Author Notes:

  • Shrimp Alternatives: Shrimp are spendy and not essential here. Tofu, cooked poultry, or any other protein you would like will work. You could even skip the protein; the salad will still be good. In fact, you get a complete protein if you have the salad with whole grain bread, which when eaten with the green beans becomes the nutritional equivalent of shrimp or chicken.
  • Working Ahead: The shrimp, green beans and dressing could be made a day ahead and refrigerated.

Another great QC day!



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