Shrimp and Avocado Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette (Camarones a la Vinagreta)
Versions of seafood “coctel” are found around the Caribbean, usually with ketchup as a base for the sauce. In this recipe adapted from Von Diaz's “Coconuts and Collards” cookbook, the tomato and onion are part of the salad, and the dressing is based on citrus and olive oil, plus a bit of mustard to make it creamy. It’s a refreshing and satisfying dish for hot weather, perfect with a cold beer at the end of a long summer day. Diced avocado makes the dish more filling, but it is optional.
- Serves: 4 persons
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4black peppercorns
- 2dried bay leaves
- 1pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2ripe plum tomatoes, diced (or 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered)
- 2tablespoons chopped red onion
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 2tablespoons fresh lime, lemon, grapefruit or any tart citrus juice
- 1tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, culantro (also called recao) or flat-leaf parsley (or a combination)
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme
- ⅛teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1ripe avocado
- Whole lettuce leaves, for serving
Step 1Cook the shrimp: In a pot, combine 1 quart water with 1 tablespoon salt. Add peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a boil over high heat.
Step 2Prepare an ice bath: Add enough ice to a large bowl until half full. Sprinkle the ice with 2 tablespoons salt and top with enough cold water to cover. Set aside.
Step 3When the water boils, stir the shrimp into the hot water and turn off the heat. Let cook until just pink and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Drain shrimp and transfer to the ice bath. Stir well and set aside until shrimp are completely chilled, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain shrimp again and transfer to paper or kitchen towels to dry.
Step 4Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, red onion, oil, fruit juices, herbs and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shrimp, toss to coat and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day).
Step 5When ready to serve, peel and dice the avocado and fold into the shrimp salad. Serve chilled, in a serving bowl or on individual plates lined with lettuce leaves.