The 2011 Texas Heat Wave was one of the worst ever on record with DFW experiencing 40 consecutive days over 100 degrees F and more than 70 days over 100 degrees F. There were rolling brown-outs because of the demand placed upon the electrical grid. Drought conditions made wild fires sweep across the state. Trying to find ways to beat the heat and stay cool was always a chore. Cooking inside raised the house temperature while grilling outside was unbearable. Then I stumbled across this simple and refreshing Watermelon, Avocado and Shrimp Salad. You should try this on a hot summer afternoon with a nice glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. Serves 4.
- 1/4 large watermelon
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 16 jumbo shrimp, butterflied
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 oz watercress
- 2 oz red leaf lettuce
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into 8 slices
For salad: Remove rind from watermelon and put fruit in a colander set over a large bowl 5 minutes (to collect the juice). Slice 24 thin pieces of watermelon; set aside. Roughly chop any remaining watermelon and put it back in colander to drip. Zest and juice lemon. Chop enough zest to make 2 tsp. In a large nonreactive (stainless steel or glass) bowl, blend 2 tbsp lemon juice with oil, shallots, and lemon zest. Add 2 tbsp watermelon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more watermelon juice if dressing is too tart.
For shrimp: Sprinkle shrimp with coriander and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Spray a large nonstick sauté pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp and sauté over medium-high heat until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To serve: Mix watercress and lettuce; toss with dressing. Add watermelon and avocado and toss gently. Divide among 4 plates and top with shrimp. Serve while shrimp are warm.