Sweeten the meal naturally with Orange and Cucumber Layered Salad With Shrimp
Looking for a fresh twist on salad? Try Orange and Cucumber Layered Salad With Shrimp.
My mom was a wanna-be urban farmer long before it was cool. Living in the city limits didn't stop us from growing our own veggies in a backyard garden that flanked a huge handmade chicken coop, where we raised hens for eggs.
Today, raising your own food is trendy, but back then we did it because it was cheap. As a kid, I remember being sent to the backyard to grab a snack. I'd forego the plethora of fuzzy zucchini and grab either a tomato or orange.
No surprise oranges and tomatoes were interchangeable snacks, both of them sweet, acidic and juicy. Turns out, oranges and tomatoes are worthy swaps for each other in a host of raw recipes.
So if you are out of tomatoes, or they are simply out of season, consider using oranges instead, tasty year-round. The additional sweetness is a welcome twist in most recipes — try oranges in your caprese salad — but if you want a less sweet option, use grapefruit, or a combination of cucumber and oranges instead.
When you are stuck for a side dish, grab a few oranges from the fruit basket, slice them up, lay them out on a platter and add whatever tasty toppings you have on hand — avocado, chopped scallions or shallots, nuts, seeds, fresh herbs, spicy greens, leftover rotisserie chicken, a drizzle of pesto. Try this week's Orange and Cucumber Layered Salad With Shrimp, but use the ingredient list as a mere suggestion to start your own creative version.
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ORANGE AND CUCUMBER LAYERED SALAD
1 medium navel or cara cara orange (or grapefruit), peeled, sliced, membrane and seeds removed
1 medium blood red orange, peeled, sliced, membrane and seeds removed
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ medium avocado, sliced
¼ fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced
¼ small red onion, thinly sliced (see note)
1 cup watercress (or arugula or other favorite greens)
6 ounces steamed shrimp
1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds (or other nut or seed)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or orange juice
2 teaspoons high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Chopped fennel fronds for garnish (optional)
Layer the orange slices and cucumber on a platter. Top with the avocado slices, fennel slices, onion, watercress, shrimp and pumpkin seeds. Squeeze the lemon or orange juice over the whole salad, and then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fennel fronds, if using.
Note: To mellow the red onion flavor, shock the red onion slices by placing for 10 seconds in ice cold water, and then blotting dry.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 255 calories (104 calories from fat), 12g fat (2g saturated, 0g trans fats), 107mg cholesterol, 737mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 15g sugar, 16g protein.