Avocado, Fennel, & Grapefruit Salad with Shrimp

Tonight’s salad is super special.  This is our fourth night of Meal Deal Salads and tonight was really a deal for me because I didn’t make it!  I worked a little later than usual so Jason and Kyle surprised me with dinner ready to go.  Very cool men I have in my corner, eh?

 

This salad is perfect for spring.  It’s light and tangy and even has an array of pretty colors displayed on your plate.  There is something about avocado, fennel, and grapefruit.  They are truly the best of friends.  Their flavors are so complimentary and if you have never tried them together — do so as soon as possible!  You won’t regret it.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 c. EV olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly chopped
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salad greens of your choice — I used 1 large head of butter lettuce here because it is nice and delicate
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 3 oz. goat feta cheese, optional

 

Process

  1. Start by cutting the skin and pith off the grapefruit.  Working over a bowl, cut the segments free and squeeze juice from the membrane.  Cut the segments in half and remove any seeds.
  2. In a small bowl whisk 3 tbsp. of the grapefruit juice, olive oil, shallot, lime juice, fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper together until well blended.
  3. Reserve 1/2 c. of the vinaigrette for your salad dressing.  With the remaining vinaigrette marinate your shrimp.  Toss to coat them well and let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  4. While shrimp are marinating get your salad ingredients together.  In a large bowl combine your greens, sliced fennel, cilantro, and grapefruit.
  5. Once shrimp is finished marinating cook them with your favorite method.  You can grill them in a basket for a few minutes over medium-high heat or simply saute them in a skillet on your stove top.  They only take 3-5 minutes total; stir them frequently and wait until they are opaque.
  6. Remove shrimp from heat and let them cool a bit.  Meanwhile pour the reserved vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.  Plate the salad.
  7. Serve a few shrimp on top of your salad greens and top with avocado and feta cheese if using.  I like to add a bit of freshly ground black pepper on top.

The goat feta cheese was a great addition to this salad.  The salty tang really complimented the grapefruit and fennel.  This of course is optional.  If you are wanting to live a strict paleo lifestyle then you can leave it out but we like to include it every once in a while.  Raw dairy products have a lot of health benefits; we just try to stay away from processed dairy products.  We also lean more towards the goat variety because it usually contains less lactose and Jason handles it better having lactose sensitivities.  If you want more information read this great article from Mark’s Daily Apple.  He explains reasoning behind why not all cheeses are created equal.

The guys did a great job.  They’re not going to need me anymore!!  I know it’s just a simple salad, but it means a lot to me that they like to do nice things for me.  I am a happy woman tonight!  They even cleaned up their mess in the kitchen.  If you’re looking for leftovers I would buy more than a pound of shrimp and dress the salads individually with the vinaigrette.  Jason and Kyle were lucky enough to find our gulf wild-caught shrimp on sale tonight!  They ended up buying two pounds so it looks like we’ll be eating shrimp for lunch tomorrow as well.  I will never say, “no” to shrimp!   I couldn’t ask for a better night.  Hope ya’ll have a great one, too.

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