Keep cool with simple, delicious summer salads

Published 1:20 am Saturday, July 16, 2016

I am always looking for cool summer salads and found two in ‘Palate’ that are so delicious. They use crab and shrimp (two of my favorite things) and they are so easy. No grilling required for the shrimp salad since it is done in a cast-iron skillet. The crab salad has to marinate for up to 10 hours, so perfect for easy entertaining.

These salads are very good! There is no excuse not to try them.


From ‘Palate’ June/July 2016.

Alabama West Indies Salad (Don’t know why the Alabama in the name.)

Serves 2

1 medium sweet onion, diced fine

1 pound fresh lump crabmeat (picked over for shells)

Salt and pepper

6 tablespoons soybean oil (I used olive oil)

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

6 tablespoons ice water

5 mint leaves, chopped

Zest of one lemon

Mix onion, crab, salt, and pepper in mixing bowl.

Add oil, vinegar, and ice water. Marinate for 2 to 10 hours,

Before serving, toss with lemon zest. Serve over mixed greens with citrus segments as a lunch salad or with crackers for an appetizer.


Shrimp, okra and tomato salad is a cool treat from summer’s bounty. Courtesy photo

Shrimp, okra and tomato salad is a cool treat from summer’s bounty.
Courtesy photo

From ‘Palate’ June/July 2016

Shrimp, Okra, and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mint Chimichurri Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, tail on

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ears of corn

8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ small red onion, diced

8 pickled okra, halved

1-2 big handfuls of arugula

Salt and pepper to taste

Chimichurri Vinaigrette:

1 cup fresh mint (not packed)

1 cup parsley leaves (not packed)

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

½ red onion, roughly chopped

1 lime, juiced

½ cup olive oil

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Working in batches, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place enough shrimp in one single layer in the skillet and sear each side until pink, about 3 minutes total. Repeat with remaining shrimp and remaining tablespoon of oil.

Remove from the skillet and set aside to cool. Wipe the skillet clean and place it back over medium-high heat. Sear the corn on all sides until charred, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet, let cool, cut corn off the cob.

Place all the vinaigrette ingredients except the oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times until finely chopped. Then, pour into a non-reactive bowl and whisk in the oil. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large serving bowl, gently toss all the salad ingredients together, and serve with the chimichurri vinaigrette on the side. Extra vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and used on poultry or steak.