I call this recipe: I Wish I Was in Playa del Carmen. Yes, I believe this would go quite well with a fresh lime margarita on the rocks and a beautiful view of the sand and sea.

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Jalapeno Sauce

We’ve had a momentous 1 day heat wave here in lovely San Francisco, hence the summery inspriation. Not to worry, I’m sure it will pass. The temperature is dropping steadily as I write this post. We’ve also had a week of the most bizarre wind storm ever and that does not seem to be passing. Chicago please claim your title, we don’t want it!

Here’s another plating idea for you. I call this one: Shrimp & Veggie Confetti Bomb.

Shrimp and Shaved Veggie Confetti

Shrimp and Shaved Veggie Confetti

Aren’t shaved veggies refreshing and pretty? I used fennel, radish, persian cucumber, and cilantro. What would I do without my Japanese mandoline? I use that thing as much as I do my knives!

The sauce is  jalapeno (flesh only) & lime juice emulsified with olive oil in a VitaPrep. So really I guess it’s just a vinaigrette. But I added a touch of xanathan gum to give it a slightly thicker creamier mouth feel, so now I’m calling it a sauce. It’s not necessary to add the xanathan gum, it will still be creamy just not quite as thick.

Yes, VitaPreps are pretty nifty when it comes to making beautiful sauces. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to shill out the big buckaroos, I suggest you throw caution to the wind. Honestly, I don’t think I could live or cook without mine. If it was a little shaplier I’d probably snuggle it at night.

shaved fennel, radish, and persian cucumber salad with red onion

shaved fennel, radish, and persian cucumber salad with red onion

The shrimp are tossed in olive oil  & smoked paprika then grilled. Easy. Great for a super hot & windy day!



  • For the Jalapeno Sauce:
  • 3 big jalapenos, about 5-inches long, flesh only, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Xanathan gum
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • For the Shrimp:
  • 6 to 8 large wild shrimp, deviened with tails on or off
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Olive Oil, Salt, Skewers if grilling (you can broil too)
  • Shaved Salad
  • 1 small fennel, shaved on a mandoline
  • 5 radish, shaved
  • 1 persian cucumber, shaved
  • 5 sprigs cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 avocado, cubed or sliced and used as a garnish for the shrimp (see first picture)

In your Vita Prep blend the lime juice, shallot, and jalapeno with a dash of water until pulverized. On low speed blend in the olive oil in a slow drizzle until sauce emulsifies. Season with salt.  You want to do all this quickly and not let the blender get to hot (if you are using a regular one) because the sauce won't emulsify properly otherwise. Add xanathan gum and whisk or blend into the mixture if using and refrigerate. (Don't be afraid of Xanathan gum, it's natural, and it really does have some great uses).

With a mandoline shave veggies and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Cut avocado either as a wedge to float under shrimp or dice and add as a garnish later. Reserve cilantro leaves.

Heat grill to high or set oven to Broil. Toss shrimp with smoked paprika, a little salt, and olive oil. Broil or grill for 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp are just done. Reserve.

Plate as you see fit! I like to put the sauce down first and then either stack the shaved veggies with the shrimp floating on the avocado wedges to one side. Or artfully arrange the shaved veggies and shrimp over the sauce in a more carefree manner. Dot plate with cilantro leaves. Enjoy!