Though we’re huge fans of the salad I’m sharing with you today (mine without shrimp, his with), overall, we’re not much for seafood in our family. My guy just generally doesn’t love it, and for me, fish and its brethren went out the door many years ago when I became a vegetarian.
Although … I did make a run at pescetarianism for about a week after I decided to drop meat. At the time, I thought I might keep fish in the picture – but not for the health benefits. Oh no. It was because I couldn’t imagine a world without McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish.
(Not my proudest confession.)
Ultimately, I gave up seafood altogether, and my guy only occasionally partakes in fish ‘n’ chips or, yes, shrimp – usually of the bacon-wrapped appetizer variety. But as it turns out, shrimp of the lightly seasoned and grilled variety is also a fabulous accompaniment to this salad – if you so choose.
It works perfectly either way.
I adore the combination of flavors and textures in this salad. Mildly peppery baby arugula cradles creamy butter beans and avocado; the addition of classic Spanish green olives gives each bite a perfect amount of salt and brine. The bright, bold vinaigrette – made lemony with both zest and juice – makes it all sing.
Those huge, hearty butter beans help make this salad plenty satisfying, so shrimp-less diners should leave the table more than happy. I like to think of the shrimp as a just nice little something extra for those who like ’em.
Lemony Butter Bean, Avocado, & Baby Arugula Salad with Optional Grilled Shrimp
- 6 cups 6 ounces baby arugula, washed and well-dried
- 1 15- ounce can large butter beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 small red onion (sliced thin)
- 1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives (drained and halved)
- 1 medium avocado (diced)
- Lemon vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (you may need 2 lemons to get this much juice)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Shrimp skewers (per serving)
- 6 or 7 peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sprinkle of kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Place the arugula in a large salad bowl, and scatter butter beans, red onion slices, green olives, and avocado on top.
- Zest the lemon and add 1 teaspoon of zest to a small bowl. Squeeze the lemon and add 1/4 cup of the juice to the bowl. Add the olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk until blended.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss right before serving.
- To make the shrimp skewers
- Poke a bamboo skewer through both the body and tail of the shrimp and place on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Turn over and repeat with the other side. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp one to two minutes on each side, until pink and done. Top individual servings of salad with shrimp skewers, as desired.