For this salad, cooked shrimp, grilled focaccia, cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, olives, and frisée are tossed in a spiky vinaigrette. Bottom line: a classy or bread salad.
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
☞ Table of Contents
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
- Combine the shallot, sherry vinegar, and a good pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl and let macerate for 10 minutes.
- 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
- Peel the cucumbers, halve, and thinly slice them. Toss with 1 teaspoon salt, put in a bowl, and refrigerate.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Originally published July 17, 2009