I like to step up my salad game once in awhile so that I, well, eat more salads.
Like most young people, I was not a fan of salads growing up. But as an adult, I now know why pieces of gray iceberg, a knob of carrot and mushy slices of tomato just didn't cut it. There was no flavor. In comes the pounds of ranch dressing.
You see, you can't really hide anything with a salad. That's why I try to make every ingredient purposeful and avoid putting anything on the salad that I wouldn't want to eat on it's own. This particular dish gets a thumbs up from me because it's pretty simple to whip together, with the end result having a wow factor that makes you want to dig into it right away. Gold star status.
You could tear the butter lettuce into smaller pieces, but I like making this a fork and knife situation. You also could just throw the cucumbers on without making them into fanned out rows ... but sometimes it's nice to give yourself some deserved fanciness.
Shrimp Salad with Yogurt Dressing
1 head of butter lettuce, medium sized
8 oz. plain yogurt
4 small Persian cucumbers
2 Tablespoons dill, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove
1 teaspoon salt for dressing, plus 1 teaspoon for shrimp
1 teaspoon pepper for dressing, plus 1 teaspoon for shrimp
- Finely chop the dill leaves and grate the garlic clove so there's no large chunks in the dressing.
- In a bowl, combine the plain yogurt, dill, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well, then put in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad.
- Cut the ends off of the cucumbers. Slice into small rounds. Keep the the pieces in a line so that you can keep that shape on the salad. Tear off the bottom core of the butter lettuce, then remove the hard, white stems on the bottom of each leaf.
- Peel and devein the shrimp. Pat dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Add the shrimp to a medium-high heat skillet. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, letting a crust form on the shrimp without overcooking in the middle.
- Start assembling the salad by making a bed of butter lettuce on the plate. Add 2 rows of cucumbers for each plate. Add the shrimp on top, then dollop on the yogurt dressing. Serve right away.
- Make sure the cucumber and butter lettuce do not have excess water on them after you rinse them. They need to be completely dry when assembling the salad, or you'll have a pile of liquid on the bottom of your plate while you're eating it.