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2 Special Luncheon Salad Recipes: Marinated Shrimp with Artichoke and Marinated Chicken with Snap Beans

By Wendy Akin


Tags: holidays, spring, summer, pesto, herbs, recipes, salads, shrimp, chicken, artichokes, party food, dressings, Texas, Wendy Akin,

Beautiful salads are a festive choice for special days. Make the Marinated Shrimp Salad for a Mothers’ Day luncheon, and then a variation with chicken and freshly picked snap beans for a hot summer day. Both salads are made well ahead and then marinate in the refrigerator until serving time. (Bonus pesto sauce recipe follows.)

Marinated Shrimp and Artichoke Salad Recipe

For 4 main course servings or 8 small plates

Ingredients for the dressing:

• 4 cloves roasted garlic
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• ½ tsp herbes de Provence
• ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup very best extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 finely sliced green onions, white and tender green parts
• pinch sea salt
• generous grinds of the pepper mill

Ingredients for the salad:

• 1 pound medium to large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
• 2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
• 1 (6-ounce) can large black olives
• ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
• 1 can garbanzo or cannellini beans
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• small basil leaves or cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

1. First, prepare the shrimp: I like a seasoned boil. Put the cleaned shrimp in a medium pot, add water to cover and then a splash of wine vinegar, a goodly shake of Zatarains, Tony Crachere or Old Bay spice, maybe a bay leaf. Bring the pot quickly to a simmer and cook just until the shrimp is pink and firm to the touch. Time depends on the size of the shrimp.

2. Drain the shrimp and immediately cover with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.

3. In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with a fork. Add the mustard and honey, mash together, then add the herbes de Provence. Whisk in the balsamic and the extra-virgin olive oil, add the green onion and season lightly with the sea salt and pepper. Set aside while you assemble the salad.

4. To save refrigerator space, I combine the cooked shrimp, then all the veggies and olives in a 1-gallon zipper bag, then pour the dressing over and shake back and forth. This goes to the refrigerator for the rest of the day. Every hour, or when I think of it, I turn the bag over so the dressing re-coats the salad.

5. To serve, put the salad into a large, attractive bowl, do a little arranging so it’s enticing, garnish with the basil or cilantro leaves.

A loaf of really good bread with a selection of butter and cheeses rounds out this meal.

Marinated Chicken and Snap Bean Salad Recipe

Make this salad in the cool of the evening before or early morning, then marinate for hours until it’s time to serve. For 4 main course servings or 8 small plates

Ingredients for the dressing:

• 4 cloves roasted garlic or more to taste
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• ½ tsp herbes de Provence
• ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup very best extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp finely sliced green onions
• pinch of sea salt
• generous grinds of the pepper mill

Ingredients for the salad:

• 2 cups cooked chicken cut in bite size pieces
• 4 cups crisp-cooked baby green snap beans
• 1 (6 ounce) can large black olives
• ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
• 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
• small basil leaves or cilantro, for garnish

Options: Add in some halved, cooked new red potatoes and whatever else is ready in the garden — maybe some crisp-steamed zucchini? Roasted peppers? Make it your own, fresh from the garden. A handful of broken pecans at serving time?

Directions:

Note: Increase the dressing recipe if you’re adding potatoes or a lot more veggies.

1. Wash and snap the green beans or leave them whole if they’re really skinny. I like to steam them for only 2-3 minutes, or you can choose to drop them into boiling salted water, but cook only until just barely tender so they have some crunch. Drain them and cover with cold water to stop cooking. Drain thoroughly. Prep the rest of the vegetables you’re using.

2. In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with a fork. Add the mustard and honey, mash together, then the herbes de Provence. Whisk in the balsamic and the extra-virgin olive oil, add the green onion and season lightly with the sea salt and pepper.

3. To save refrigerator space, I combine the cooked chicken, then all the veggies and olives in a 1-gallon zipper bag, then pour the dressing over and shake back and forth.  This goes to the refrigerator for the rest of the day. Every hour, or when I think of it, I turn the bag over so the dressing re-coats the salad.

4. To serve, put the salad into a large attractive bowl, do a little arranging so it’s enticing, garnish with the basil or cilantro leaves.

To round out the meal, offer a beautiful loaf of country bread, some good butter and a selection of cheeses — perhaps a fresh berry cobbler for dessert and a big, frosty pitcher of minted tea.

Bonus: Pesto Dressing Recipe

For a little extra flavor and dressing, pass a bowl of this dressing. Multiply as needed — this is a delicious dunk for any leftover bread.

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp Italian basil pesto (see my post, “Pesto Three Ways”)
• 1 tsp rice or white wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• dash of fine sea salt
• 3 grinds of the pepper mill

Directions:

Whisk together in a small bowl and offer on the side.

Wendy Akin is happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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