Matane Shrimp, Asparagus
and Pink Grapefruit Salad
A recipe using three fresh ingredients from our beautiful province
Recipe and photos by Josee Brisson
Previously published June 28, 2017
Warm spring weather is finally here, which means it is time for the first harvests! To celebrate, I have chosen to use three fresh ingredients from our beautiful province.
In Québec, asparagus season starts on Mother’s Day and ends on Father’s Day, which is on June 19th. At the beginning of the season, asparagus are thin, sweet, crisp, and bright green. I always serve them raw so they retain their freshness.
The sweet and succulent Matane shrimp, also known as Arctic shrimp, has been available since April, and their season will end in September. These petite beauties are typically shelled, cooked, and frozen while the fishing boat is still at sea.
Endives are available at the supermarket all year long, and most are grown right here in Québec. I have chosen red endives for this recipe because they are slightly more bitter and visually stunning!
I served this refreshing salad with Le Grand Ballon Sauvignon Blanc, produced by Sarl Joël Delaunay. This fruity and vibrant medium-bodied French wine from the Loire Valley pairs perfectly with the pink grapefruit, without overpowering the sweet and salty shrimp.
Matane Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pink Grapefruit Salad on Endive Leaves
Serves four as an appetizer
Half a pound of small cooked Matane shrimp
15 thin asparagus, washed, dried and woody ends removed
1 large pink grapefruit, scrubbed, washed and dried
1/2 a small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of Sherry vinegar
Pinch of Spanish hot pimentón (to taste)
French grey sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium red Belgian endives for serving (or white endives)
With a sharp paring knife, cut the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Place it on a cutting board and carefully remove the peel and the white pith. Before discarding the peel, press all the juice and add it to the zest. Above the bowl containing the zest, hold the grapefruit in one hand and remove the segments one by one with a sharp knife. Take care not to remove the white membrane between sections. Place the grapefruit sections in a small bowl. Squeeze all the juice from the membrane of the grapefruit into the bowl containing the zest. Discard the membrane.
In the bowl containing the grapefruit juice and zest, add shallot, coriander, hot pimentón, olive oil, and Sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix with a fork. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Cut the asparagus diagonally into 1-inch pieces and add to the vinaigrette. Break the sections of grapefruit to match the size of the shrimp and add to the bowl. Carefully mix everything without breaking the grapefruit segments any further. Add the shrimp and mix again.
At this point, you will need to taste the salad and adjust the seasoning. If the grapefruit is very sweet, you might have to add half a tablespoon of Sherry vinegar to compensate. Cover and refrigerate.
When you are ready to serve, spoon the salad into a pretty serving bowl and place it in the middle of a serving platter. Just before you bring the platter to the table, prepare the endives by cutting the bottom part and separating the leaves. Arrange them around the bowl. Do this at the last minute, as endives tend to brown quickly.
Spoon some of the salad onto an endive leaf and eat immediately.
Happy Mother’s Day and Bon Appétit!
Josee Brisson is a culinary creator passionate about archaeology, mythology, history, literature, and the arts. She trained as a professional cook at École Hôtelière des Laurentides, in Sainte-Adèle, Québec. Among other food projects, she collaborated on two cookbooks with world-renowned food and wine expert François Chartier, and offered a Chef at Home service. Josee is also a translator, researcher and social media community manager. Her cookbook, L’Apéro: Appetizers & Cocktails, was #1 Best Seller in Appetizer Cooking at Amazon. Here’s the link to Josee’s book.