Shrimp and Watercress Salad
Food highs include flavor highs! Optimal pairings like peanut butter and chocolate, red wine and chocolate, salty cheese and chocolate… well, you get the point.
Remy (from Disney’s Ratatouille) said it best, “Oh, Gusteau was right. Oh, mmm, yeah. Each flavor was totally unique. But, combine one flavor with another, and something new was created!” – Click here.
Something new! Something ethereal! It is my goal to bring as many of these flavor pairings and combinations to you as I possibly can!
Then there is synergy. Synergistic foods are like getting a 2-for-1 deal from your favorite merchant. Those foods that work together to make nutrients do double, triple… multiple duty. FYI: Red wine and dark chocolate fit this category too! Use that little tidbit any way you wish.
Today, I happen to have watercress which needs to be cooked soon, before it loses its flavor and nutrition. Add shrimp from the freezer, lemon, and grated ginger, and VOILA! A natural four-part flavor match, made to go together. mmm Something new is created.
Add tea, and you have additional nutritional synergy too!
So here is your mise en place (everything in its place).
Shrimp + watercress + ginger + lemon
I keep my ginger in the freezer, usually in a paper bag, so that there is always ginger, ready to grate into dishes. 🙂
Watercress is pungent and acidic, with a bitter heat. Nutritionally, it packs a punch too. It is among the cancer-fighting foods (prostrate and colon). However, too much for too long can cause other health concerns. A little goes a long way – in nutrition, and in flavor.
Lemon juice not only adds a bright note to this combination of foods, but it increase bioavailability of iron in the watercress!
Okay, so if you think it is wrong that I live on a coast with fresh local shrimp available, but am using frozen shrimp instead… you are right. When I see such a good sale price on good quality shrimp (handled properly, no junk), and all I have to do is remove shells, it is sometimes too tempting to pass up.
Still, we got the Omega 3 thing going on – brain food!
Sorry, forgot to get a good ginger picture…
Anyway, you can put these four flavors together anyway you like and have a great meal! Here is an easy salad.
In a skillet, I threw a little butter – use oil if you prefer – and about 1 teaspoon ginger. There really should be more ginger! But my kids would not be happy with me if they could taste the ginger – almost, like, at all! You can, and should, add as much ginger as you would like. To the ginger and fat, I added a 24 oz bag of large shrimp, cleaned and peeled.
Saute until your shrimp is beautifully pink. Do not overcook.
Arrange watercress onto a plate, or in a bowl. At this point you can make a simple lemon vinaigrette combining 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, with salt and pepper to taste. Or, if your diet does not allow oil, a drizzle of lemon on a finished salad will do the trick. There are no rules here. Accommodate for your taste and dietary needs.
You can compose a salad…
Or mix one, depending upon whether you prefer to keep your watercress raw, or slightly wilted and fragrant. Adding hot seafood to greens such as this, is a lovely thing to do.
Either way works great!!!
Adjust seasonings per your personal taste. You can add more ginger for heat, more lemon for acidity and brightness, s&p, whatever pleases your palate.
And if you, like me, can’t just leave well-enough alone, add pasta! (GF Brown Rice Pasta)
Just one more note… Add a cup of fresh tea. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice into the tea and your body can absorb up to 98% of the tea’s disease-fighting catechins!