We just had my darling husband's birthday party Saturday night and, true to form, he insisted that people only come equipped with hunger and thirst.
He is known for his baby-back ribs and top shelf bar, I am known for...being his adoring wife:)
Among other things...
I wanted to make sure that this year there were side dishes for people like me who only want a little meat. However, I wanted to make side dishes that weren't boring or crappy but that would hold up through hours of grazing.
I did it - three salads from scratch that held up and got eaten up. I made sliced red potato salad, Oriental Cole Slaw and my newest creation, Florida Girl's Italian shrimp salad. I'll start last first:
8-10 ounce salad shrimp, thawed (this is one of the few things that tiny cocktail shrimp is good for)
3 lemons, juiced and zested
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 large cucumbers, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks - seeding them is important!
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 cans salad sliced hearts of palm, drained
1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp Italian Herbs*
You can make this part* easy or hard. I go easy and buy the tube of Italian herbs in olive oil at Publix. Otherwise, chop a handful of flat-leaf parsley, a bunch of basil and bash up a couple of garlic cloves.
Make sure all water is drained off of everything before the next step.
Whisk herbs with olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and salt and pepper. Dump everything else into a bowl; I chop the artichoke hearts up a little to make it more fork friendly. Pour dressing over the salad and stir gently to coat. You may need a little more oil or lemon juice, just taste to see.
Let this sit refrigerated at least two hours, bring to room temp before serving.
So that's salad one. I don't make anything I won't eat and I loved this. My guests seemed happy too since they ate it all up:)