A good salad is always a delicious dinner addition, so why not make this delicious Sunny Seared Shrimp and Spinach Salad for Mother’s Day? The savory shrimp and sweet pineapple go amazingly together; you wont be able to stop eating this delicious meal!
If I were to ask my mom what she would like to eat on Mother’s Day, she would respond, “oh, something light would be nice.” As long as I have known her, ya’ know all my life, she has watched what she eats and at the ripe ole’ age of, oh I guess I shouldn’t tell you that, she still looks beautiful. Salads were a staple of her diet and she loves fish especially shrimp. So in her honor, I thought I’d put together a salad topped with shrimp that is presented in a bright cheerful way.
I remember, as a kid, watching my mom and her friends eat spinach salads topped with fruit and thinking, “UUUUHHHGGG, gross, why in the world would you eat raw spinach and waste good fruit in a salad?” Well, I’ve grown up. I really enjoy spinach salads and actually prefer to eat them with some sort of fruit tossed in. A few years ago I enjoyed a salad at a local restaurant that had spinach, pineapple, and shrimp all tossed together in a ginger dressing. It was so good, that I have made it many times at home and found that carrots and sugar snap peas were a lovely addition to the mix.I tried several homemade versions of their ginger dressing, but found that Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing is perfect and all I have to do is open a bottle. My mom likes simple, easy to put together recipes, and would appreciate the use of a bottled dressing. I’ve topped this salad with pan seared shrimp, grilled shrimp, and even boiled shrimp. I really prefer the flavor of the pan seared shrimp over boiled, but think grilled shrimp is just as good.
As for the presentation of the salad, I was inspired by my mom’s sunny optimism. Her positive outlook on life has truly affected those around her and she deserves a bright and cheerful salad for her Mother’s Day meal. This would be a fun meal to get the kids involved. They can help toss the salad and add the sunny boarder to the plate. Oh, and let them personalize the meal for mom. Get a 12″ x 12″ piece of colorful scrapbook paper to use as a place mat for her salad. Write “You are the sunshine of my life.” on the paper along with any other personal messages. A few drawings would be great too.
Sunny Seared Shrimp & Spinach Salad
Ingredients: This recipe makes enough for 4 salads. I only made enough for one salad, so some of the pictures have smaller quantities than what is called for in the recipe.
8 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups shredded carrots
40 sugar snap peas (break the larger ones in half)
1/2 cup Newman’s Own Lighten Up Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing , divided
8 pineapple rings (1/4″ slices of fresh is best, but canned will do)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound peeled uncooked large shrimp, deveined and tails removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup crunchy chow mein noodles, optional
Cut 8 triangle shaped pieces out of each pineapple ring, reserving scrap pieces. Arrange 12-16 triangle shaped pineapple pieces around the border of each plate. Place pointed ends at edge of plate, and bottom of triangles facing the center of the plate forming sunbeams.
Toss together spinach, carrots, sugar snap peas, and pineapple scraps. Toss with 1/4 cup Sesame Ginger Dressing. Scoop 1/4 of the salad onto the center of each dinner plate.
Heat oil in a 12″ stainless steel skillet over high heat. Pat shrimp dry with paper towel. Toss shrimp with salt, pepper and sugar until evenly coated. Once oil just begins to smoke, place shrimp in skillet in one even layer. Cook until the edges turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Turn shrimp over. Cover skillet for 1-2 minutes until shrimp are cooked through. Be careful you don’t overcook the shrimp or they will be tough and rubbery.
Cooks note: To ensure all shrimp are cooked evenly, I start at the handle of the skillet and begin placing shrimp in pan one at a time, moving in a spiral to the center. Once I remove the pan from the heat, I start by turning over the shrimp closest to the handle. When I remove the shrimp, I do the same so each shrimp spends and equal amount of time in the hot pan.
Evenly divide shrimp among salads. Sprinkle chow mein noodles evenly over salads, if using. Drizzle 1 tablespoon Sesame Ginger Dressing over each salad just before serving.