Friday, November 2, 2012

Thai Salad With Herbs And Shrimp

Thai Salad With Herbs And Shrimp

This is one of my favorite salads and although it is a summery dish it serves as the perfect light and satisfying winter lunch if you have access to papaya this time of year.  I love how all the ingredients mix together: the papaya and vegetable mix is refreshing, the herbs are fragrant and the tangy and spicy dressing is oil-free.  Crunchy peanuts add a little bit of salt and healthy fat. You'll feel like a million bucks after you eat this.

Thai Salad With Herbs And Shrimp

16 raw, wild black tiger prawns or 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed 
4 c fresh baby spinach
1 papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into large, bite size pieces (go for organic if available)
2/3 c cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 c cucumber, cut into large, bite size cubes
1 Haas avocado, cut into large, bite size cubes
2/3 c red bell pepper, cut into large, bite size cubes
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 c fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (or more to taste)
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped (or more to taste)
1/4 c  cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (or more to taste)
1/4 c lightly salted, dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
For the dressing
6 T fresh lime juice
4 T fish sauce (*)
2 T honey
1/2 t sambal oelek chili paste, or more to taste (*)

Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil.  Add shrimp and cook until pink and insides no longer translucent, 2 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients in a bowl.  Set aside.

Cut prawns in half to form large, bite size pieces.

Place spinach in a bowl and toss with 2 T dressing.

To assemble the salad, divide spinach evenly between 4 plates.  Layer on each plate the papaya and the next 5 ingredients.  Arrange the shrimp in the center of the salads.  Top with mint, basil and cilantro.  Drizzle 2 T of dressing on each salad.  Sprinkle with peanuts. 

Serves 4.

(*) Found in the Asian section of your grocery store.

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Source:  Jill Crusenberry

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