Saturday morning I popped along to Balham Farmer’s Market and bagged some lovely brown shrimps. If you have never tasted these teeny, weeny shrimp you would be forgiven for passing them by as being of no consequence. But the taste! Sweet, clean, shrimpiness that absolutely justifies their price (they’re not cheap) and since they come ready peeled they’re ready to use immediately. Just be careful not to nibble them away as you prepare a dish. I decided to make a salad (there some wonderful salad leaves at the market too) that wouldn’t overpower their flavour.
I also had some hot smoked salmon leftovers from my favourite irish smokery, Burren Smokehouse and I decided to marry the smorgesbord of seafood with a mustardy potato salad. And the result… an outstanding success. Definitely a combination to do again. Especially paired with a chilled Muscadet de Sevre et Maine. Plate lickingly enjoyable.
Brown Shrimp & Bean Salad
I had a fabulous brown shrimp salad at a supper hosted by Shacklewell Nights where they were paired with red onions and cucumber. They had also made a starter of roasted tomatoes with bobby beans. All those ingredients popped into my head when I saw the brown shrimp and prompted this salad.
115 g peeled brown shrimps
1/2 small red onion, very finely sliced
125 g fine beans, trimmed
mixed salad leaves (washed and dried)
1 firm ripe tomato
1 clove garlic, crushed lightly
pinch of sugar or small drizzle of honey
salt & pepper
Make your dressing as early as you can by mixing all the dressing ingredients (1 part lemon juice to 2 parts oil is the ratio I used).
Blanch your finely sliced red onion (I usually boil a kettle and pour the water over the onions in a small bowl, leave them in water for a minute the drain).
Lightly steam the bean so that they are just cooked (not a fan of under cooked beans nor over cooked ones, like Goldilocks I like ‘em just so). Drain and toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon of the dressing and leave to cool.
If so inclined, skin your tomato. I must admit I don’t usually don’t bother as I don’t worry about the skin but I did for this salad, looks prettier. The easiest way to do this is to gently cut the skin in a cross at the end of the tomato. Pop it in the steamer with the beans for 30 – 45 seconds. Remove when you see the skin starting to split, wait till they cool enough to handle and the skin should peel off easily. Deseed and chop into tiny cubes.
Now when all the ingredients are cool, simply build your salad up. Drizzle a couple of teaspoons of dressing over just before serving if you need to.
Mustard Potato Salad with Fennel
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 heaped tablespoon fresh dill chopped
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper
1 small bag baby potatoes
1/2 small fennel bulb, finely sliced
2 cloves smoked garlic (optional, I just had some at home!)
finely chopped dill for garnishing
Make your dressing as early as possible to allow flavours to mingle.
Steam your potatoes (I rarely boil potatoes, always preferring to steam as the texture is better and in my experience it is easier to control timing). When just cooked, drain them and toss in the dressing. Add the raw fennel and smoked garlic (if using, it adds a smokey, dark, caramel, aniseedy flavour) and toss so that all is covered in the dressing. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Garnish with fresh dill just before it goes to the table.