Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes. Notes: Cooked shrimp can be used in place of poaching your own. You can also substitute 1 pound of poached sliced chicken breast for the shrimp. Make-ahead tip: Prepare the dressing up to 3 days in advance.
Sunset MARCH 2006
1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, bring white wine and 1 cup water to a simmer. Add shrimp; reduce heat to keep liquid barely simmering until shrimp is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Drain and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
2. In a small bowl, combine lemon peel, juice, shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; let stand at least 15 minutes. Whisk in olive oil.
3. In a large serving bowl, mix lettuce, radishes, avocado, and shrimp with enough lemon-orange vinaigrette to coat. Save extra vinaigrette for another use. Divide mixture among four plates. Top with bread crumbs, if using.
Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Bread crumbs. To doll up a simple salad, add toasted bread crumbs for extra crunch and richness.
In a food processor, whirl 1 slice egg bread to fine crumbs. In a small frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add bread crumbs and stir until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. A teaspoon or two of minced fresh herbs are also a nice addition. Spread crumbs on paper towels to cool.
Chef Harland's salad tips:
Buy fresh. Inspect the lettuce for browning, wilting, dried spots, or other signs of age. You want leaves to be bright, crisp, and moist.
Dry the leaves. Water wilts greens and dilutes dressing. A toss with a few paper towels picks up the moisture left by most salad spinners.
Match greens with the right dressing. Butter lettuce and tender spring greens are best when gently coated with a lightly acidic dressing. Heavier greens can stand up to big flavors and stronger acids.
Make it bite-size. Cut all your ingredients roughly the same size. This makes the salad easier to eat and keeps attention on the flavor.
Let the flavors mix. When making a dressing, let the acid (vinegar, lemon juice) absorb the seasonings (garlic, shallot, spices, herbs) for at least 15 minutes before adding the oil.
Check seasoning. Dip a leaf of lettuce into the dressing; it'll give you a more accurate taste than sampling with a spoon.
Toss with your hands. No other tool is as gentle or gives you as much control.
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