This is a take on the usual tomato panzanella salad using fresh green colours, which are the essence of summer. Offset with the pink shrimp it makes for a lovely presentation. Lately Argentinian shrimp are coming into the markets in Canada. They are frozen on the boats right after they are caught. They have a very sweet taste and slightly softer texture than black tigers. I personally prefer them to other shrimps, perhaps because they are wild, not farmed. They are a pretty pink colour when you buy them uncooked. A pound is equal to about 21 to 25 shrimp.
To avoid food waste and add an extra boost of flavour, the scraps from the fennel and the stems from the arugula and mint go into the water that the shrimp is poached in. Make more croutons than you need. They keep well in an airtight tin.
Ready time: 35 minutes
1 loaf ciabatta, crusts removed, torn into bite size pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped mint
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/2 bulb fennel
2 cups arugula leaves, stems reserved separately
2 cups chopped cucumber
1 cup halved sugar snap peas
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup mint leaves, stems reserved separately
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta
6 cups water
1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 tsp salt
Vegetable scraps from preparing the salad
12 oz (375 g) shrimp, shelled
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Toss ciabatta pieces with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Reserve.
Whisk together vinegar and Dijon and sugar. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Stir in mint and chives. If dressing is still a little tart add a little more oil. Reserve.
Shave fennel into thin slices using a mandolin if you have one (slice by hand if you don’t). Reserve any fennel scraps separately.
Mix together fennel, arugula leaves, cucumber, sugar snaps, green onions, mint leaves, ricotta and about 1 cup croutons in a bowl.
Combine water, fennel seed, peppercorns and salt in a pot. Add in reserved fennel scraps and stems from arugula and mint. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes or until pink and curled.
Toss salad with reserved dressing. Transfer to a serving platter. Scatter warm shrimp over salad.