This is my tribute to the home of focaccia and this dreamy seaside village. Crunchy panzanella, or bread salad, is heightened with large tender shrimp, briny olives, and just a handful or two of aromatic herbs and tender lettuce leaves. Resist the inclination to toss in a lot of salad greens.–Frank Stitt
Shrimp Salad Portofino Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 50 minutes, not including cooling | Serves 4
- For the vinaigrette
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- For the salad
- 2 small kirbies or other pickling cucumbers
- Kosher salt
- 16 extra-large shrimp (16 to 20 count) in the shell, preferably wild American shrimp
- About 1/4 cup Red Wine–Sherry Vinaigrette
- Four 2-by-3-inch rectangles focaccia (grilled or toasted and torn into bite-sized chunks)
- 12 red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 8 caper berries, rinsed and halved
- 8 Niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
- 1 small bunch frisée, torn into bite-sized pieces
- A small handful of celery leaves
- 2 scant tablespoons pine nuts
- Make the vinaigrette
- 1. Combine the shallot, sherry vinegar, and a good pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl and let macerate for 10 minutes.
- 2. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The vinaigrette will keep for several days in a jar in the refrigerator.
- Make the salad
- 3. Peel the cucumbers, halve, and thinly slice them. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt, put in a bowl, and refrigerate.
- 4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the (unpeeled) shrimp and cook until they curl and are just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and let cool, then peel and devein.
- 5. Toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette in a large bowl and let marinate for 5 minutes. Add the focaccia, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (drained of any liquid), capers, caper berries, and olives to the shrimp, then add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- 6. Toss the parsley, chives, frisée, and celery leaves in a bowl with a little vinaigrette and mound on four serving plates. Top with the panzanella mixture, then artfully arrange 4 shrimp on each plate, tucking them into the mound haphazardly. Finish with a scattering of the pine nuts over all.
- Vermentino (Bison)
Shrimp Salad Portofino Recipe © 2009 Frank Stitt. Photo © 2009 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.