This salad is made in two parts. First you have the main body of the salad, which is a fresh-tasting mixture of mixed salad leaves (try to use some red and some green ones, for added visual interest), orange slices, and prawns. This salad is decorated with dill weed and chives, and dressed with a basic vinaigrette. Along with that, you will be serving a homemade salsa, and that is made with tomatoes and avocado (both should be ripe), along with cilantro, lime juice, red onion, and some chili. The salsa complements the prawn salad beautifully, and serving a homemade salsa recipe rather than something you bought in the store proves your competence as a home cook.
Make sure you give each person a finger bowl and napkin, or a moist towelette, so they can get the prawn juices off their fingers afterwards. Cooking the prawns with their shells on locks in the wonderful flavor but it does make them slightly messier to eat! Actually the larger the shrimp or prawns, the easier it is to shell it using your knife and fork, but a lot of people still prefer to pick the shells off with their fingers.
This makes a lovely lunch or you could even increase the amount of salad leaves and serve some bread on the side, and make it a complete meal. Cook the prawns in advance if that is easier, since you can serve them warm or chilled on the salad leaves. The salsa can also be served chilled or at room temperature, although many people prefer it at room temperature because chilling dulls the flavors a little, and serving it slightly warmer seems to intensify them instead.
- 12 prawns, shell and tail on
- Small package mixed salad leaves
- 6 chives
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into 6 slices
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
- Fresh dill weed, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ½ lb diced tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ minced jalapeño
- ½ peeled, finely diced avocado
- ¼ finely diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Salt, to taste
- Soak the red onion in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse it, and dry on paper towels.
- Mix all the salsa ingredients together.
- Let the salsa sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad.
- Boil the prawns in water until they turn pink.
- Divide the orange slices and salad leaves between 3 plates.
- Decorate with the chives and dill weed.
- Stir together the extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, and drizzle this over the salad.
- Top with the prawns (they can still be warm, or you can chill them after cooking, if you prefer).
- Serve the salsa with the salad.
You could use shrimp (either medium or large) here instead of the prawns, but these look better when laid one together, as the photo shows. They look more impressive anyway and have a more intense flavor. This is a colorful and appetizing salad recipe, and you can see how the bright colors give it a fresh look. This is a lovely summer seafood salad recipe and you can double or triple the recipe easily to feed a crowd. Serve some bread on the side if you want, and perhaps a glass of Chardonnay too, since that would go really nicely with the fresh flavors this salad offers.
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