Monday, July 25, 2011

Roasted Shrimp Salad

There were a couple of reasons why I was drawn to this recipe.  First and foremost, it's hot as hell here and for the first time in a long time I haven't really felt like standing over the stove.  Maybe more importantly though is the fact that I've never had shrimp salad before and I was really drawn to all the gorgeous flavors in this recipe.  Plus, I've watched and listened as Ina has went on and on about how roasting shrimp really brings out it's flavor and I was curious to give it a try.

The pictures of the salad in her book are gorgeous and I've grown to have high expectations for Ina's recipes.  She almost always delivers and I've never really had a recipe of hers be a "fail" for me, until now. 

So, did roasting the shrimp bring out any extra flavor? It was certainly an easier way to cook the shrimp, but I didn't feel like it added any additional flavor.  The shrimp were perfectly cook and they were good, it's just that I don't think the roasting really added anything.

The major problem with this recipe for me was that there was just too much flavor.  "Too much flavor" usually isn't ever an issue for me, but in this case I felt that the flavor of the shrimp was masked by the other ingredients.  While I love the flavors of orange zest, dill, capers, and red onion it was just a little too much for the delicate flavors of the shrimp.  However, this recipe has received a five star rating on the Food Network and quite a few people have sung it's praises, so it could be that it's just me.  Either way, I learned a good lesson in how I like to enjoy my shrimp and from now on I will be sure to pair it with more delicate flavors (unless of course we're talking about garlic and in that case I say the more the better).
Roasted Shrimp Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That?
Serves 6

2-1/2 pounds (16 to 20) per pound) peeled shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup good mayo
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon good white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons small-diced red onion

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place them on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and toss together.  Spread the shrimp in one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once while cooking, just until pink and firm and cooked through.  Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  When the shrimp have cooled, add them to the sauce and toss.  Add the dill, capers, and red onion and toss well.  The flavors will improve if you cover the salad with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.  Otherwise, chill for up to 6 hours and serve at room temp.

Notes/Results:  We didn't care for this one too much, but that doesn't mean that it's not for someone else.  Many reviewers indicated that at first they weren't sure of the orange zest with the shrimp but then declared that they loved the combination.  Although I love the flavor of orange I really didn't care for the flavor when it was mixed with the shrimp.  Additionally, dill and capers are some of my favorite ways to flavor food but in the case of this recipe it was just too briney and too tangy.  I think the dill and capers could really be scaled back in this recipe.  That said, I'm glad I tried this one because I learned quite a bit about how I like to enjoy shrimp.

What about you?  Do you think you would enjoy these dominate flavors with shrimp OR are you more into delicate flavors when it comes to seafood and fish?

For Deb @ Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays


  1. Well I would need to use less mayo and I think I prefer the more delicate flavors with seafood. Are you working on Ina's cookbooks now?

  2. It definitely looks beautiful. I don't know...I like some stronger flavors w/ shrimp- namely garlic and chile, but maybe just that combo wouldn't do it for me, either. I think it's the mayo?? It holds them on there so "definitely". Hmm...I'd try it, but I prefer a simple garlic, butter, and white wine sauce ;)

  3. I generally agree with Ina about roasting proteins, but as much as I like shrimp, shrimp salad is just not for me. I can deal with mayo and tuna or egg or chicken, but something about it on shrimp turns me off. I think I'd agree with you about too many different flavors. Capers and red onion seem a bit heavy-handed for the delicate flavors of shrimp. I just put a post in my queue on a dish that I made with high hopes that ended up not being to my taste. I used to just eliminate these, but as you've pointed out. others might find the dish to their liking. Your shrimp look beautiful, BTW.

  4. I've never seen or heard of shrimp salad before but it definitely seems like hot weather fare!

  5. Kim, this is a gorgeous salad. It is also perfect for summer weather.My family would love this. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Maryi

  6. some times stuff does not work out, looks lovely.

  7. kim i've missed you! such a bummer that the salad didn't work out, i've had that problem too, just too much going on. it sure looks good though.

    the heat, oh the heat. here's hoping for cooler weather soon!

  8. I love all of these flavors, so it's too bad that they didn't all work together. But I can see that they would overpower the taste of the shrimp.

  9. I stocked up on large shrimp at Whole Food's a week ago. They were having a 50% off sale, so I froze three pounds in 1 pound servings. I own this cookbook, and was seriously going to try this salad. I appreciate your honesty, and I think your critique makes sense. If I do make this (and I love Ina) I'll take into consideration what you've said, and consider scaling back on some of the ingredients. I was thinking that saving the roasted shells would make a nice seafood broth. Beautiful photos, Kim.

  10. I've been roasting shrimp Ina's way since I got the cookbook. I think it's a fool-proof way to cook shrimp without standing at the stove. I've been adding some Hungarian paprika to them before they're roasted and I like the flavor it brings.

    I made a version of this salad and thought the mayonnaise made it way too rich for my taste and the dill overpowered it. I enjoyed your critique and agree with you Kim.

    By the way, your photos are better than Ina's.

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  12. I love capers with fish but with the dill and dressing, I can see how it might overpower the more delicate shrimp. It's a pretty salad.

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  13. Wow you're right, there are a lot of sharp tasting, overpowering ingredients in there like vinegar, mayo, capers and zest. I can see what you mean.

  14. It looks so good, sorry you were disappointed. It does have a lot of flavors going on there.


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