When summer days are hot and humid, I look for ways to prepare a meal without turning on the oven.
Main course salads are just the ticket when temperatures soar.
My recipe this week features one of my favourite vegetables, fennel, which is turning up at farmers’ markets. The varieties that are grown locally have an abundance of the feathery fronds that are so delicious in salads. Fennel has a mild licorice flavour, making it ideal to accompany fish and seafood.
This dish features shrimp, but easily could be made with quality canned tuna. The dressing is a simple one of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Black olives lend a delicious saltiness to the salad and fresh grape tomatoes add a burst of colour.
This light salad is a special occasion meal ideal for the weekend.
Shrimp and Fennel Salad
3/4 lb. (375 g) of medium raw shrimp
1 small head of fennel, sliced thinly, including some of the fronds (about 2 cups – 500 ml)
2 baby cucumbers, sliced
2 Tbsp. (25 ml) chopped parsley
1/4 c. (50 ml) pitted black olives
1 c. (250 ml) grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 c. (50 ml) olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 Boston lettuce leaves or 3 cups of arugula or other greens
1. Peel and devein the shrimp.
2. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook until bright pink and cooked through. Drain and chill.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the fennel, cucumbers, parsley, olives, tomatoes, green onion, lemon juice, zest, olive oil and chilled shrimp. Toss well.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again.
5. Line each salad bowl with the lettuce leaves. Spoon salad on top and serve immediately.
Note: You can substitute one can of slightly drained oil-packed tuna for the shrimp.