I’m rarely tempted to eat salad when we go out to eat during the summer. Twice in the past two days, I’ve been out to eat and have passed on salads because we have them at home at almost every dinner, and they always are much better, especially with all the fresh produce available from my garden.
Most of the time, our salads are a side, but there is the occasional meal when that’s all we’ll have, with perhaps the exception of some homemade bread.
We’ve had a great crop of lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and kale this year, but soon there will be other vegetables ready such as bell peppers, zucchini and eggplant that can turn an ordinary salad into the main course.
And if you were to add something like shrimp, as the following recipe adapted from one in Patricia Wells’ “Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season” (Morrow, $34.99) demonstrates, you really have a full-blown meal.
Shrimp Dinner Salad
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Several drops Tabasco sauce
Fine sea salt
1 or 2 red bell peppers, trimmed, seeded and cut into ¼- inch dice (about 1½ cups)
2 celery ribs, sliced (about 1½ cups)
1½ pounds (25 to 30) cooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup minced fresh chives or cilantro
½ cup tomato juice
In a large bowl, whisk tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and salt; taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Stir in peppers and celery. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to develop.
Just before serving, add shrimp and toss to coat. Add chives and toss to blend. Line 4 plates with lettuce, and mound shrimp salad on top.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 200 calories, 14 percent of calories from fat, 3.1 grams fat (0.6 grams saturated, 0.4 grams monounsaturated), 258 milligrams cholesterol, 35.4 grams protein, 5.9 grams carbohydrates, 1.1 grams fiber, 378 milligrams sodium.