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Shrimp Bread Salad with Golden Garlic Vinaigrette

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 29

Choose the ripest, juiciest tomatoes you can find so the bread soaks up their juices.

  • 1-1/2 lb. large shrimp in the shell or about 42 frozen, cleaned large shrimp, thawed
  • About 5 thick slices day-old country-style bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Spanish or Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbs. aged sherry vinegar (or red-wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade

Heat the oven to 350°F. If using shrimp in the shell, peel and devein them. If using cleaned, thawed shrimp, skip this step. Either way, dry the shrimp well with paper towels and set aside.

Put the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they’ve dried out and turned golden brown, 14 to 18 minutes. Remove them from the oven. When cool, combine the bread with the tomatoes in a large bowl. Set aside.

Set a small, heavy skillet over low heat with 6 Tbs. of the olive oil and the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan frequently, until the garlic turns a pale gold, 6 to 7 minutes. Bear in mind that the garlic will continue to cook from the retained heat of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour half of the mixture (about 1/4 cup) over the bread and tomatoes. Stir well to combine and set the remaining vinaigrette aside.

Set a large skillet over high heat with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they’re just cooked through and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes; cut one in half to check. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining garlic vinaigrette to the pan, stir with the shrimp, taste, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Add the shrimp, thyme leaves, and basil to the bread and tomatoes. Toss and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 550; Fat (g): fat g 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 5; Protein (g): protein g 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 34; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 950; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 335; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Mark Ferri

This is ABSOLUTELY one of the BEST salads I have ever made!! My son asked me what was for supper--I told him--He was like "Yuck". Can I tell you they cleaned the bowl!! It is so good, and incidentally, my son asked me to make this very frequently!! Thank you for a truly delicious recipe!!

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