Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Traci Des Jardins created this refreshing salad to showcase one of her favorite Latin ingredients, the avocado. She tasted her first avocado during a visit to her Grandma Salazar in Mexico; she would snack on it at taco and fruit stands on the street, where it is typically served with fresh lime juice and chile salt.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch lengthwise wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
  • One 5-ounce head of Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate or on a small baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil with the lime juice, shallot and cilantro. Using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruit, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over the bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the grapefruit sections into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl; discard the membranes. Gently fold in the avocado and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, tossing the shrimp until they are curled and pink, about 4 minutes.
  4. Arrange the lettuce on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, lift the grapefruit and avocado from the citrus vinaigrette and gently spread over the lettuce. Add the shrimp to the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Arrange the shrimp over the salad and drizzle the remaining citrus dressing on top. Scatter the toasted pumpkin seeds on top and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Complex, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley.

Contributed By Photo © Frances Janisch Published April 2006

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