Tuesday, May 7, 2013

mixed greens salad with shrimp & oranges

i remember when "salad greens" meant lettuce or spinach.  growing up, we always had a salad with dinner.  the salad consisted of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes with italian dressing. then ranch dressing became all the rage and, for some reason, carrots were added to the mix.  these days there are countless greens available at supermarkets, an even greater variety at farmers' markets or from our gardens and we eat them raw, sauteed, pureed into smoothies, juiced, even grilled!  greens are having their "moment" which i hope becomes a permanent staple of our diets.

i love greens and try to incorporate them into at least two meals each day.  this salad is a perfect example. packed with a mixture of whatever looks good at the market that day, the greens and shrimp become a nice first course or main dish salad.  protein from the shrimp, vitamin a, c and b from the oranges and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium from the greens ensure this salad is an antioxident's dream.  greens also include the vitamins k, c, e, and many of the b vitamins. they also provide thiamine, beta carotene, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and small amounts of omega fatty acids. don't you love it when something that tastes so good is actually good for you?
Red Willow Farm grows food with sustainable and traditional agricultural practices. Located on the fertile grounds of Taos Pueblo, we use organic seed and soil amendments to grow nutritious food in greenhouses and irrigated field. Red Willow Farm Provides Taos pueblo youth and all volunteers valuable agricultural experience. 

i have been visiting the red willows farmers' market located at the pueblo on wednesdays.  the cool thing is that they are open year-round except during jan and february when the taos pueblo is closed. they specialize in greens grown in their greenhouses.  i especially like their tat soi, a green i discovered at their market.  tat soi is an asian green that tastes like a milder version of mustard greens. it is delicious and perfect in this salad.  if you cannot find it in your area, substitute bok choy or use 1/2 cup of mustard greens.  or come up with your own combination...this salad is very forgiving.  whatever you use, i encourage you to keep the cabbage.  the taste and crunch really make the dish.  also, for vegetarians, substitute the shrimp for toasted walnut halves.

mixed green salad with shrimp and oranges
2 main dish servings
12 large shrimp in the shell, uncooked
kosher salt
1 large orange, peeled, white pith removed, sectioned with slices cut in half
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh italian parsley, chopped
pinch dried red pepper flakes
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 cup baby kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup baby spinach, washed 
1 cup arugula, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup tat soi or bok choy, washed
1 cup cabbage, washed and shredded

fill a large bowl 1/2 full of ice and cold water.  set aside. bring a large saucepan t of water to a boil.  add a handful of  kosher salt.  add shrimp and boil for 2-3 minutes, just until the shrimp turns pink.  remove from water with slotted spoon and place in prepared ice bath.  allow to cool, then peel and devein.  set aside.

in large bowl, combine the orange pieces, olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  whisk together to combine.  add shrimp, stir and allow to marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour. (refrigerate during marinating process).  remove from fridge, add greens and stir to mix.  taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  divide between 2 large plates and serve.

napa farmhouse 1885
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