It’s possible that this salad would be just as delicious without a crepe underneath. But that’s the way I first tried it at one of my favorite Wharf Street holes in the wall, a French place called the Merry Table. Their speciality was crepes and other simple French foods.
Crevettes is French for shrimp, a much more elegant name for one of the world’s most popular ocean delights. You can cook it almost any way and end up with something tasty. For this dish, full of fresh, summery flavors, I chose to oil poach the shrimp. Before you roll your eyes at the thought, I beg you to try it. If you love fresh shrimp, this cooking method will knock your socks off by preserving the flavor of the shrimp. I use the cooking oil to make my dressing, so there’s no waste.
For this, I used South Atlantic white shrimp. I had to shell and clean them, but the results were well worth it. The ingredients may seem odd together — crepes, shrimp, guacamole, asparagus, vinaigrette. But for me this dish is much more than the sum of its parts. The Merry Table is no more, but this dish will live on.
1/2 pound fresh wild shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup olive oil
5 ounces mixed greens
1 pound asparagus
8 cherry or Campari tomatoes
4 crepes — I follow Alton Brown’s recipe
Guacamole (recipe below)
Dijon vinaigrette (recipe below)
Most crepe recipes require time for the batter to rest. Be sure to build in this time.
Trim and steam asparagus until just tender (just 2-3 minutes), then refrigerate. Ever get down to the end of a spear of asparagus and find that it’s too tough to chew? Instead of cutting off the ends, try snapping each one at the natural breaking point.
To a small saucepan, add your shrimp and enough olive oil to cover (I use about a cup). Cook over low heat until the shrimp is white but not tough, about 10 minutes. Remove from oil and slice lengthwise.
In the meantime, rinse your greens, slice your tomatoes, plate your crepes and prepare your guacamole and dressing. The crepes are fine served at room temperature for this meal.
Toss your greens lightly in the dressing. Divide them evenly among your plates, then top with guacamole, tomatoes and shrimp. Lay the asparagus over the top and drizzle with a little more dressing.
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh lime and/or lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Allow the garlic to soak in the lime juice for 20-30 minutes. Add chopped avocados and mash to combine.
1 cup poaching oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Optional teaspoon of mayonnaise
Blend ingredients until frothy. Salt and pepper to taste.