Shrimp, Watercress, Bacon & Walnut Salad Recipe
by Shari Goodman
When autumn falls, you can still head to the farmers’ market to gather up the bounty from the summer’s sun and rain. A mix of crisp greens, fragrant herbs and a tangy vinaigrette can satisfy that craving for raw simplicity.
To make a salad of complexity that’s hearty enough to eat as a main, you can add some grilled shrimp, a bit of bacon and goat’s cheese. And if you give the sliced potato and goat’s cheese some extra love in the deep fryer, it’s even better.
Though many people are “anything but chardonnay” drinkers, this Coopers Creek from 2009 is balanced, pleasing and refreshing. It comes from New Zealand, has won an award and hails from a winery that was just designated the Riedel Wine Maker of the Year. The grapes in this bottle grow next to a lime quarry, which inspired the label: The Limeworks. It’s fruity, oak-laden and rich.
Paired with Coopers Creek Select Vineyards “The Limeworks” Chardonnay 2009
Now is a good time to sit back, remember the warm days of summer, sip a Chardonnay and enjoy a market-fresh salad.
2 tablespoons basil olive oil
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mixed greens of watercress, lettuce, frisée, mâche or other greens
4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked
½ cup peas, fresh
3 green onions, sliced thin
½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 pound shrimp, cooked
Potato Chèvre Sandwiches:
Goat’s cheese, log, sliced
2 large potatoes, sliced thin
For the vinaigrette, whizz all ingredients in a blender or shake in a jar.
For the salad, toss the ingredients in a large bowl.
For the potato chèvre sandwiches, heat a deep-fat fryer or a heavy, deep saucepan and pour oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat to 300°F or until a drop of water sizzles and pops on the surface. While the oil is heating, cut the potatoes into thin slices. Carefully drop the potato slices into the oil and deep-fry until they start to turn golden brown and turn once, 3 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices. With a slotted spoon, remove the slices and place on paper towels to dry. Sandwich the slices of goat’s cheese between two slices of cooked potato. Just before serving, return to the hot oil and cook until warmed, 20-30 seconds on each side. Garnish on top of the salad.
As a perpetual student in the kitchen, I’m always buying a new ingredient at the market, reading a cookbook, collecting food props for photography or browsing the kitchen gadget stores. After the encouragement of winning a recipe contest when I was 10 years old, I have been collecting recipes ever since. Now I write about my food experiences on my blog (whiskblog.com) as I work my way through a cooking school curriculum. I also enjoy the table-side of the kitchen as a restaurant reviewer for a local commuter newspaper, and I freelance as a food editor for a new magazine called Taste & Travel. Recently, I completed Basic Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.