Easy dinners are what I’m all about these summer days. Okay, even Fall, Winter and Spring I’ll take easy over complicated. Salads though definitely rank first choice through the hot weather months. While I love a crisp, chilled salad, I like to pare it with a warm topping. Kinda like my thing about topping pizza with a salad.
Shrimp Scampi is a quick dish to pull together and normally served with pasta. I had a craving for Shrimp Scampi the other day but really didn’t want the heaviness of the pasta nor did I want to just have a little. I was HUNGRY and I wanted a nice full serving of whatever it was that I was going to make! I’m definitely familiar with a Caesar salad topped with grilled shrimp or chicken, so why not top it with scampi instead! The bonus too is that there is no vinaigrette or dressing to make as the garlicy sauce from the scampi is poured over the greens.
I made this with the tails on, however, next time I may remove the tails. It’s pretty much a presentation thing leaving the tails on as the tails really don’t impart any flavor into the dish. Leaving the shells on while cooking the shrimp do though, but I would not suggest that method for this dish! Save that tip for another recipe.
Shrimp Scampi Salad
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, leaving tails on is optional
1 medium green onion, thinly sliced
9 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped, I add up to 5 cloves!
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Juice from 2 lemons, about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ lb. mixed salad greens
Freshly grated parmesan cheese or gorgonzola cheese for sprinkling on top of salad
Arrange mixed salad greens on a large platter and set aside, or refrigerate to keep greens crisp. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add in shrimp, artichoke hearts and green onion, sauté until shrimp begins to curl and turns pink. Add in garlic, crushed red pepper, lemon juice and cook just a few minutes more to incorporate all the flavors, scrapping up the bottom of the pan for any bits of the sauteed shrimp or artichoke. Sprinkle on the herbs, gently toss and pour over the salad greens, spooning on the garlicy sauce too. Top with either freshly grated parmesan cheese or crumbled gorgonzola. Serve immediately.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.