Arugula, Shrimp & Roasted Potato Salad
March in New York is such a tease. It shows just enough spring to get your hopes up, and then turns the cold shoulder.
I left the house today all pleased with my spring skirt and daringly bare hands, and then made the mistake of talking to my parents in southern California, who were welcoming the season with blooming wisteria and sun-heated pools. Suddenly, my spring coat didn’t seem so celebratory.
But what my mom lacked in seasonal empathy, she made up for in recipes. She reminded me of one of my favorite warm weather dishes, a light arugula and shrimp salad with lemon and roasted potatoes.
It was one of the first meals I learned how to prepare, part of the inaugural cookbook we carefully assembled before I went off to college. (I also left for my Eastern education without winter boots, warm pants, or any semblance of a coat – in retrospect, it wasn’t the most practical packing job).
But there’s a lot to be said for the California approach to cooking – just a few simple, fresh ingredients. I may not be eating this salad poolside, but it definitely added a shot of California sunshine to my almost-spring dinner.
Warm Arugula, Shrimp and Potato Salad
1 lb. shrimp, unpeeled*
7 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. small potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (best to get multiple colors)
2 small cloves garlic, grated
4 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
20 calamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 lb. baby arugula (4 cups loosely packed)
Heat the oven to 425. Toss potatoes with 1/2 T. olive oil, half the minced rosemary, more salt and pepper. Pour onto another baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, until tender and slightly crisp.
Toss the shrimp with 1/2 T. of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour onto a large rimmed baking tray in a single layer. Roast for 7-8 minutes. Peel shrimp.
Meanwhile. Add garlic and two pinches salt and smash to a coarse paste. Add lemon juice, zest, remaining rosemary, and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Whisk in 5-6 T. olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, if needed.
Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl and toss with dressing. Serve.
*If you’d rather not roast the shrimp, you can just shell them when they’re raw, and quickly stir fry them with a little olive oil on the stovetop.