Chef's Table Recipe: Seared Shrimp with Salsa Verde

A Flavorful, Colorful Appetizer

October 23, 2008 — -- Salsa Verde is a versatile condiment and sauce that can be used on any number of foods, from grilled or roasted chicken to pasta sauce. James Beard House featured chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli used it as the foundation for this delicious shrimp dish.

Makes 4 appetizer servings

For the salsa verde:

½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup chopped tarragon

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped

15 cornichons or gherkins, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

½ teaspoon red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the shrimp and tomatoes

1 tablespoon canola oil

12 large, preferably domestic shrimp, peeled and de-veined

2 large and 5 small Heirloom tomatoes, washed, cored and cut in half or in thick slices, depending on their size

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 lemon, halved

½ cup basil leaves, washed and dried 1 orange, halved

Extra virgin olive oil, optional

To prepare the salsa verde, combine the parsley, tarragon, cilantro, capers, cornichons, garlic, whole grain mustard, and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar, and whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the shrimp, heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to smoke, carefully arrange the shrimp in the pan in a single layer. Cook until slightly pink but still translucent in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and toss with two tablespoons of the salsa verde.

To plate, distribute the remaining salsa verde on each of 4 dinner plates. Arrange a few of the tomatoes on top of the salsa. Season the tomatoes with the sea salt and black pepper, and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice on each. Top with 3 shrimp per plate. Finish the dish with a squeeze of orange, and a few basil leaves. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Chef's Notes:

The salsa verde can be made from a few hours to a day ahead and refrigerated.

If you can't find heirloom tomatoes in season, use whatever tomatoes are available (including beefsteaks, romas, or plain old on-the-vine) will work fine. Look for ripe tomatoes with flesh that has a rich, dark red color and that yields gently when pressed with your thumb.

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