It’s Friday, which means it’s time for me to quickly inventory what fruit and veggies I still have in the fridge. Unlike pantry items, fruits and veggies have a decidedly short shelf life, and unlike meats, they usually can’t be transferred to the freezer for later use. Use ’em or lose ’em! I will admit that I’m guilty of overestimating how many fruit and veggie dishes we will actually eat during a week. Even though I’m a huge proponent for shopping from a list, I still fall prey to the beauty of all those vegetables displayed so attractively. Hello, impulse buy. The up-side to giving in to temptation is that these days my impulse buys are radishes or grapefruit – not potato chips! Let’s hear it for personal growth!!
Unfortunately, no nutritional benefits are gained if the produce doesn’t get eaten. Today’s spot-check revealed the impulse-buy radishes and grapefruit hadn’t been touched, along with some oranges (2 are needed). I also had an avocado that would be over-ripe in another day. Hmmm. Sounds like a salad is in order. I’ve never done a citrus salad with radishes or avocados, but I liked the sounds of it. The bright, sunny flavors of the orange and grapefruit with crunchy peppery radishes and the creamy texture and earthy flavor of the avocado sounded good but not enough.
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to any salad for a crunchy, munchy bite. A quick check of the pantry, and I found a bag of pistachios leftover from another recipe. Pistachios are one of the world’s healthiest and maybe tastiest nuts. Compared to other nuts, they are among the lowest in fat and calories and higher in antioxidants and fiber. However, there is one technicality that I feel compelled to clear up. Pistachios aren’t really nuts, botanically (look at me with these big words) speaking, pistachios are actually seeds. Not that it matters, but you never know when it might come as a trivia contest and win you millions because you knew this fun fact. Okay, so the pistachios are going in the salad. While the taste is perfect with the citrus and other ingredients, feel free to use whatever you have in your pantry. Pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pine nuts are all good.
I wanted to serve this salad as a light dinner, so it needed some protein. Back to the fridge, and wouldn’t you know it, the meat compartment was empty. This is where the freezer comes in! In the freezer drawer, I found a bag of Peel and Eat shrimp. Jackpot! All that was required was a quick thaw in cold water and removing the shell and tail. As they were already cooked, a little cleaning and pat dry with paper towels were all that was necessary. It pays to keep a well-stocked freezer. Other options include chicken, which always works in a salad, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers. In a pinch, a can of Albacore tuna would also work. I’m not a fan of tofu, you will never find it in my kitchen, but if you are, that will work too. Salads are so flexible!
The prep work is simple. Making the dressing is the first order of business, so the flavors have time to develop. My simple citrus dressing is orange zest and juice from one orange, mixed with some mayo, honey, poppy seeds, and salt & pepper. It is soo good and so easy! A grater/zester and a hand juicer make quick work. Once the ingredients are whisked together, pop it in the fridge until the salad is ready to be dressed.
Once the salad dressing is done. Chop up some onion, about a tablespoon. I prefer the sweetness of the Vidalia onion in this dish. The avocado needs to be peeled, pitted, and diced. The should be creaned, trimed and thinly sliced. I like using a mandolin slicer. It took less than a minute to cut a bunch.
Dealing with the citrus takes a little more effort, especially the grapefruit. While it’s easy to peel, removing the segment membranes takes a little patience, but it so worth it! The orange is easy. Peel and slice it quarter-inch rounds. To save time, if you plan ahead, you can buy orange & grapefruit segments pre-cut in the refrigerator section of the produce department.
Combine the veggies, nuts, citrus in a bowl.
Add the shrimp and season with salt & pepper, to taste Toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.
The vibrant bright flavors of this salad will explode in your mouth! Every bite is a taste sensation. No single flavor or texture dominates. It seamlessly blends together for a delightful and refreshing brunch, lunch, or light dinner. Enjoy!
Citrus, Radish, and Avocado Salad with ShrimpCourse: Dinner, Lunch, BrunchCuisine: FloridianDifficulty: Easy
This salad is bursting with vibrant flavors, colors, and texture. Perfect for a brunch or a light dinner. The homemade citrus poppy dressing perfectly balances the tender shrimp, sweet-tart citrus, creamy avocado, peppery crisp radishes, and crunchy pistachios.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey
2 oranges, one orange peeled and thinly sliced. One orange zested and juiced (1 tablespoon zest and ¼ cup fresh juice)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
1 cup radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
¼ cup salted roasted pistachios (shell removed)
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion (Vidalia)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ lb shrimp, cooked (tail and shell removed)
- In a small blow, whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, orange zest and juice, poppy seeds, mustard powder, salt & pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prep the citrus fruit, vegetables, and shrimp. Grapefruit: peel and cut into segments. Orange: peel and slice in quarter-inch rounds. Radishes: Clean, trim, and thinly slice. Avocado: peel, pit, and dice. Onion: chopped. The shrimp should be deveined, cooked, peeled, tail removed, and pat dry.
- Combine citrus, radishes, avocados, onions, and pistachios. Add shrimp, season with salt & pepper, to taste. Toss with dressing. Serve immediately.
- Juicing the orange: Roll orange on a hard surface to produce more juice.
- Shrimp: Save time and buy pre-cooked, deveined, and peeled. Substitute tuna, chicken, or tofu.
- Citrus fruit: Save time by buying chilled precut orange and grapefruit sections in the produce section of your grocery store
- Pistachios: The best substitutions are: pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or cashews. However, any type of nut will work. If nut allergies are a consideration, consider pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds.