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Ginger-Poached Shrimp Salad with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing

Image of Ginger-Poached Shrimp Salad with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing
A light salad that works equally well as a main or side, this dish is bright, fresh and a lemon-lover’s dream! The pronounced citrus hit in the salad dressing comes from three sources— salt-brined preserved lemon, fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest. The preserved lemon, used as a flavor booster in North African cuisine, is the secret ingredient in this dish—it adds a mellow yet intense tangy “umami-ish” bottom lemon note that imparts complexity and depth. Do not skip this ingredient preserved lemons are very different from fresh lemons in that the skin transforms into a soft, smooth texture that is lovely on the tongue, while the bold lemon flavor lacks the brash high notes of fresh lemon juice. (Both the preserved lemon flesh and tender, satiny peel are edible.) This versatile dressing pairs well with briny olives, scallops, grilled fish or chicken.

The best way to cook delicate shrimp is very gently: poached in hot, not boiling or simmering water, with aromatics and a touch of sea salt. This culinary technique ensures the shrimp remains plump, juicy and tenderinstead of rubbery and tough. The shrimp also retains its flavor instead of being tasteless and bland. The poached shrimp can be cooked the day before you serve the salad, which frees up your time in the kitchen.

Ginger-Poached Shrimp Salad with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing
Serves: 2 as a main; 4 as a side
Image of Ingredients for Ginger-Poached Shrimp Salad with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing

For the dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise, Hellman’s or Best Foods
½ cup Labneh
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon, seeds removed, about small preserved lemon
1 tablespoon lemon brine from preserved lemon
1 tablespoon California extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons juice and zest
1 small bunch chives, minced and divided into 2
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon filtered water

Image of Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing
Place all ingredients, using only half of the chives, into a blender or Ninja® bullet and process until just smooth—place in the refrigerator for at least several hours for flavors to fully develop.

For the salad:
1 package of Little Gem lettuce heads, about 4
½ half Hass avocado
¼ cup raw walnut halves
6 pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
½ serrano or Fresno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

Ginger-Poached Shrimp:
1 pound medium shrimp, 12-15, shells removed and deveined
1 3-inch piece of peeled ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
10 black peppercorns
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
½ lemon
6 cups water

Place water into a medium (3-quart) pot, which should be filled ¾ full, and add ginger, parsley, lemon juice and half the chives, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let poaching liquid stop boiling.

To a large bowl, add water and ice to create an ice bath.

Add shrimp to hot poaching liquid, cover pot, and allow shrimp to poach in the hot liquid for 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and pink. You can test the shrimp to see if done by cutting one shrimp in half and it is no longer transparent. Drain and place poached shrimp in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let shrimp remain in ice bath. Remove and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Image of Ginger-Poached Shrimp Salad with Creamy Preserved Lemon Dressing
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