Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Case in point this cool yet spicy salad from Food 52. The ingredients are minimal: cucumbers, celery, pepperoncini and parsley. The celery provides crunch while the cucumbers and parsley add a coolness that tames the fieriness of the peppers. That’s it. Do taste your pepperoncini before adding them to the salad though since not all peppers have the same level of heat.
The salad can be used to top burgers or as an easy side dish for grilled meat. It really is so easy.
3/4 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced into half coins
3/4 cup celery, both leaves and stalks, chopped
1/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced
1/4 Italian parsley, chopped
Pinch of sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Allow to sit for at least 1/2 an hour before serving.
This isn’t your grandma’s shrimp cocktail. Instead it is a fun twist with a spicy tomato sauce reminiscent of a chunky gazpacho. When paired with plump shrimp you will find yourself (and perhaps your guests) asking whether it is a shrimp cocktail or a shrimp gazpacho. Or maybe it is a little bit of both. Regardless of what you call it, if you are a fan of shrimp and like a bit of spice, it is good.
This recipe is inspired from one found on the Simply Recipes blog. If fresh tomatoes are in season, do use those but if they aren’t use good quality canned ones. I’ve done it both ways and both are good but there really isn’t any beating the flavor and texture of fresh tomatoes. You could serve this dish in traditional shrimp cocktail style as a first course or you could even serve it as the meal itself. Simply pair it with bread–corn bread would be particularly good.
So with Cinco de Mayo just a few days away why not add these shrimp to your menu?
MEXICAN SHRIMP COCKTAIL
1 pound medium shrimp, deveined and cooked
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup peeled English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes with their juices, chopped
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
Up to 1 cup of lightly salted water
1 avocado, cut into chunks
- Cut half of the shrimp into large chunks and set the other half aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped shrimp, onions, cucumber, celery, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce. Stir gently.
- Add the lightly salted water, one tablespoon at a time, until the shrimp cocktail has a consistency that you prefer.
- Adjust the seasonings, adding more hot sauce if desired.
- Divide into individual dishes and garnish with the avocado and whole shrimp.