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Spending 65 days in Italy sounds like a lot, and it was. It was wonderful, most of the time. But sometimes it overwhelmed and exhausted us.
We blogged about our adventures nearly every day and, being so far from home, always appreciated comments from friends and family. But one of our most faithful commenters - one that often popped in with encouragement and suggestions along the way - was, at the time, a complete stranger. He went by 'Colo,' and later we learned his name was Tom.
We've stayed friends since then and I have him to thank for this recipe.
Until Tom told me about it, I hadn't heard of the cookbook compiled by Morgan Freeman and some other celebrities to raise money for 2004 hurricane victims in Grenada. The book is called, Morgan Freeman and Friends: Caribbean Cooking for a Cause. The recipe for this salad was Ben Affleck's contribution and about it Tom said, "A flavor explosion awaits."
I ordered the book immediately.
As usual, Tom was right.
It's the first salad I've ever made that has no oil, and not even salt or pepper! Strangely, the salad doesn't need them and could distract from the intensity of the other flavors, just as with Shrimp Salad, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Crab Cakes, Crab Salad and Shrimp Tacos enhancing flavors are all that's needed.
For your sage advice on food and travel, we'll always be grateful to you dear Tom!
Shrimp and Green Mango Salad
For the Dressing:
- 1 Thai chile pepper
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
For the Salad:
- 12 medium shrimp peeled and deveined, poached and chilled
- 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 green (unripe) mango peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1 English cucumber cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 10 mint leaves cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup minced shallot
- ¼ cup dried pineapple chopped small
To make the Dressing:
- With gloved hands, remove and discard seeds from chile pepper and coarsely chop (you'll be liquifying it, so no need to be precise). In a blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. (Refrigerate unused amount for up to 1 month.)
To make the Salad:
- In a salad bowl combine bell pepper, mango, cucumber, ginger, mint, cilantro and shallot; toss gently to evenly distribute ingredients. Add ¼ cup dressing and toss lightly to coat. Divide salad between two plates, arrange shrimp on top and garnish with dried pineapple.