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Thursday, 30 March 2017 13:03

Lighten it up with spring salads

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Shrimp is very versatile and great in a spring salad. Buy it fresh frozen — “EZ peel” or some such wording on the package means the shell has been cut open and that black filament already has been removed, making them easy to clean. Shrimp is very versatile and great in a spring salad. Buy it fresh frozen — “EZ peel” or some such wording on the package means the shell has been cut open and that black filament already has been removed, making them easy to clean. File photo

What do you think of when I say spring? Do you think of bright splashes of color, fresh green grass, spritzes of cool and crunchy?

After a long winter, we just naturally crave color. In the past, in prerefrigeration days, the urge for color was a symptom of our urge for fresh dosages of vitamins and minerals — all of which are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

(More Spring Home & Outdoors stories are HERE.)

After living on root vegetables and salted meats all winter, our ancestors were ready for the fresh pickings of spring. Foraging for wild greens such as dandelions and watercress, fruits such as strawberries and vegetables such as mushrooms and wild parsnips were important sources of these much-needed vitamins.

Salmon, shrimp and scallops all provide omega-3 fatty acid (good for the heart), vitamins A, B2 and B6 plus niacin and riboflavin. Use seafood as the base for these healthy recipes. Because we’re still in the Lenten season, I expect you’ll find some nice fresh seafood in the store right now.

Salmon salad

Serves 4

1-1/2 lbs. salmon, boneless, skin removed

3 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsps. chopped chives

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 Tbsps. chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large cucumber

1 large tomato

1 avocado

Preheat broiler. Cut salmon into four equal portions, removing bones and skin. Rub salmon with two tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper. Broil salmon for about four to five minutes depending on thickness. When you insert a tip of a knife into the thickest part, the salmon should flake but still be pink in the center. Remove from oven and let it rest while you combine the rest of the salad.

In a bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, chives, cloves, dill, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and olive oil. Peel cucumber, remove seeds and cut in chunks and add to the dressing mix. Dice tomato and avocado and add to the bowl and mix to coat everything with the dressing. Divide this onto four plates and top each portion with a piece of the salmon.

 

Shrimp salad

Serves 4

1 lb. large, raw shrimp or scallops

5 Tbsps. lemon juice, divided

3 Tbsps. olive oil

2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate (frozen)

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. grated ginger root

1 large tomato

1 yellow squash or yellow or red pepper

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

1 cup mesclun or other lettuce, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp and lemon juice and boil until the shrimp are pink, about one to two minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then cover with ice.

Remove shells and clean the vein out with your finger or a piece of paper towel. Place shrimp on paper towel to drain. Dab a bit to remove water.

Assemble the rest of the salad by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, juice, garlic and ginger for the dressing. Dice the tomato and add to dressing.

Clean the squash or pepper but do not peel; cut into cubes and add to dressing. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Divide this onto four serving plates and top with shrimp.

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