Sunday is mother’s day, so it seems like rave about my mom’s cooking and creativity. My mother taught me so much about cooking. She groomed my love of Filipino cuisine and helped my cooking skills to grow. She encourages me constantly and supports me always. So, thanks mom! To that end, it’s probably a good time to introduce my mama’s latest recipe: watermelon and shrimp salad. I’ve written about an awesome salad on the blog before. This one is even better!
As is true with most recipes, this one came out of a craving. My mom and I went to Silver Diner recently, and she saw a picture of their new Summer Watermelon and Carolina Shrimp Salad while we were waiting in line. She didn’t order it that day which is why she craved it ever since. So, of course we ended up making it for dinner one night at home.
The original Silver Diner salad has a bunch of ingredients that aren’t in my mom’s watermelon and shrimp salad. Silver Diner’s has tomatoes, olives, quinoa, feta, tomatoes, basil an pomegranate. Mom’s has toasted pine nuts, toasted cranberries, chicken and shallots. Both have spinach and arugula as their greens with a light dressing. But the main inspiration–and truly the star of both dishes–comes from the fresh watermelon and jumbo shrimp.
I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it a million times more: I LOVE SHRIMP. So this salad was already right up my alley. But oh man, do I love watermelon! There’s nothing like a nice cool, fresh piece of watermelon on a hot summer day. It’s so refreshing and damn tasty! The rest of the ingredients complement the stars of the show. The toasted pine nuts give it a nice roasted taste without actually roasting any of the ingredients. The dried cranberries are sweet, which balances the saltiness of the shrimp and chicken. And of course this dish is totally healthy.
But my absolute favorite thing about it is that its a standalone dish. A lot of time salads are side dishes or even appetizers, but this one is completely filling. After one plateful, I didn’t need anything else. And while you feel full, you don’t feel heavy. It’s even more satisfying after knowing you did barely any prep or cooking. You’re filled and fulfilled.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes! What do you like in your salad? Aren’t you crazy for watermelon?!
Mom's Watermelon and Shrimp Salad
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries toasted
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups seedless watermelon cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup roasted chicken breast shredded or chopped
- 12 jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 large lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan, toast the pine nuts and cranberries until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. (alt: bake at 350 degrees) Set aside.
Saute the shallot and chicken breast in oil. Add shrimp and saute until completely cooked, about 3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to plate.
In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, pine nuts, cranberries, shallot, chicken and shrimp. Set aside.
In a small bowl mix honey, olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Seal and shake vigorously or whisk by hand. Pour over salad ingredients. Toss and serve!