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Poached Shrimp, Melon and Frisée Salad

To make the dressing for this pretty salad, Daniel Humm takes the zesty poaching liquid for shrimp—flavored with coriander seeds, garlic, peppercorns and orange zest—and reduces it. The salad is wonderful as both a first course or a light main course.


slideshow  More Delicious Shrimp Dishes

slideshowMain Course Salads


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8 first-course servings or 4 main-course servings

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  • 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

  • 1 small leek, white and tender green part only, thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 medium orange

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 3 cups water

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

  • Piment d’Espelette (see Note)

  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced cantaloupe (1/2 pound)

  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced honeydew (1/2 pound)

  • 1 small head of frisée, tender inner leaves only, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon


  1. In a large saucepan, combine half of the fennel with the leek, garlic, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, orange zest, orange juice, white wine, water and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook over low heat until pink and curled, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the shrimp marinate in the warm liquid for 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate. Halve each shrimp lengthwise and refrigerate until cool. Strain the poaching liquid, reserving 1 cup.
  3. In a small saucepan, boil the reserved poaching liquid over high heat until reduced to 2 tablespoons, 15 minutes; transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and piment d'Espelette. Add the cantaloupe, honeydew, frisée, tarragon, shrimp and the remaining sliced raw fennel. Season the salad with salt and piment d'Espelette, toss gently and serve.

Make Ahead

The poached shrimp and dressing can be prepared up to 1 day ahead; refrigerate separately.


Piment d'Espelette is a spicy ground red pepper from the Basque region of France. It's available at specialty food stores.

Suggested Pairing

The sweet shrimp and diced melon in Daniel Humm's salad are substantial enough to go with a white wine with some body. Pinot Gris, whether from Switzerland or Alsace, makes a great match.

Contributed By Photo © James Merrell Published July 2009

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