Warm Shrimp Salad with White Beans and Arugula
When I worked at Sapore di Mare in the Hamptons, the menu featured a simple salad of perfectly cooked white beans, lemon, and a few slivers of fresh red onion served on a bed of arugula and drizzled with fruity extra-virgin olive oil. This jazzed-up version adds shrimp and tomatoes to the basic salad, and people ask for the recipe whenever I serve it. This recipe yields appetizer portions, but you can double it to create a more substantial entrée, ideal for an early autumn lunch served al fresco. Accompany with plenty of bread to soak up the flavorful broth.
True: It is not necessary to rinse shrimp after shelling and deveining them—the water washes away a lot of flavor. To peel and devein: Use a paring knife to cut along the black line on the outside curl. Peel the shell away from the body and use the tip of your knife to clear away the intestinal vein.
To cook dried beans: Soak 1 pound dried beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain them, transfer to a heavy pot, and cover by a couple inches with water. Add 2 tablespoons salt and 1 cup of olive oil, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook gently until tender. Timing varies according to the freshness and type of bean, but plan on about an hour. You will only need 1 cup cooked beans for this salad. Serve leftovers as a side dish, or use in soups.
If fresh cranberry beans are in season, use them instead of cannellini beans.
Makes4 first courses
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationappetizer, main course
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, savory, spiced
Type of Dishfirst course salad, main course salad
- 2 ounces (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- ½ clove garlic, very thinly sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pinch fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
- 16 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 cup cooked white beans, preferably cannellini (canned may be substituted)
- 2 plum tomatoes, cut into medium dice
- 4 ounces (½ cup) Clear Vegetable Stock (chicken stock can be substituted)
- 2 loosely packed cups arugula (2 large handfuls), cleaned
- Juice of 1 lemon
Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium sauce pot over high heat and cook until the garlic begins to turn golden brown.
Add the onion and cook for 1 minute.
Add the rosemary.Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.Add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the shrimp just start to turn color but are not completely cooked.
Add the beans, tomatoes, and the vegetable stock and simmer 2 minutes.(If you are using the canned beans, add only the stock and the tomatoes.)
Add the canned beans now, if you are using them.
Add the arugula and simmer 30 seconds to 1 minute, until slightly wilted.
Squeeze the lemon into the warm salad and taste for seasoning.
Let salad cool slightly, then divide between four small bowls and serve while still warm.
2005 Michael Schlow