Empty nesters, at last, as we finally got Quickstep into his own apartment. Without the perceived need to fix the children large amounts of protein, Baby Lady and I might start eating more salads. We love nice salads with fresh greens and homemade vinaigrettes, especially when the greens come out of our garden.
I talk periodically about our little plot of earth that we so enjoy. Well, this wonderful salad has 2 homegrown ingredients. You see, when we first started the garden we planted arugula. I like the sweet, bitter peppery notes of fresh arugula and it’s more versatile than people imagine (check out our post on Herb Crusted Salmon with Arugula Citrus Pistou and Grape Tomatoes). It grew throughout the summer and into the fall and winter. When it got straggly, I pulled it. The next spring, and each succeeding year for the past 3 years, it came back. As such, we have a luscious, dense, green patch of arugula that we use in a variety of different ways. We simply cannot eat it fast enough.
The other homegrown ingredient is the pomegranate. In a prior post, Whole Fillet of Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze, I discussed buying Baby Lady a pomegranate tree. Last year was the first year we got fruit and we were thrilled this year to see it absolutely covered in blooms. It has 22 pomegranates on it now that look like Christmas ornaments.
It would have more but I have some sneaking, pilfering neighbor somewhere who thinks it’s appropriate to come onto my property and abscond with my precious little red beauties without bothering to ask. GRRRRR It’s a shame, too, because they weren’t ripe yet. Interestingly, when it’s close to the time to harvest and it rains, the pomegranates fill up with water and the skin splits.
See the pretty little red seeds tucked in there? We really love them. Once the pomegranate skin splits like that, you need to take it off the tree because insects and birds will get the fruit which is no bueno.
This being the first fruit harvested this year and the plethora of fresh arugula in the garden, a salad was in order for dinner. So, this is what we did.
- 1/2 lb shrimp, 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
- 1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 freshly ground pepper
- 9 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups garden fresh arugula, rinsed well and thick stems removed
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1/2 cup romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup French feta cheese
- 2 Tbsp shallots, minced
Season and roast shrimp in a preheated 350 F oven for 4 – 5 minutes until just done.
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Add the vinegar, salt and oil to a blender and blend away.
Mix the greens together and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide equally between to plates.
Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top of greens.
Next, sprinkle feta cheese on top
Now add the shrimp, 6 pieces per plate
Drizzle with vinaigrette, to taste
Finish with toasted, chopped walnuts
and minced shallots
Serve & enjoy!