Here’s a pretty pastel appetizer for Easter – bay shrimp salad with fennel & radish. I use medium size scallop shells to plate this recipe when serving as an appetizer and large ones for a sit down first course.
Scallop shells are great for entertaining and I’ve collected hundreds. You can use them on the BBQ or under the broiler for hot appetizers or they make clever little plates for cold seafood salads like the one pictured above. You can find them on amazon, but sometimes my local fish monger stocks them too – or if you live in an area where you can actually buy scallops in the shell, then by all means save ’em after you’ve shucked ’em!
In Northern California I can only get scallops alive in the shell if I pay dearly for them and order them through one of our restaurants. They get flown out from the East Coast. Strange considering we do have diver’s scallops here on the West Coast, but they either sell them canned or vacuum sealed sans shell. Too bad, I remember loving the Paris poissonniers and buying small crates of live scallops and oysters to take home.
Bay shrimp to me, is delicate, elegant and brunch-y. It’s great with so many types of wines too, from Champagne to chardonnay to rosé and more, which makes it a lovely versatile first course.
Radishes are gorgeous in Spring and you can julienne them to add color to a dish – they don’t always have to be sliced the traditional way. The color pop for this dish is just a little julienned watermelon radish along with the more familiar red radish.
- 1 pound fresh, cooked, Bay Shrimp
- 1 small fennel, shaved paper thin on a mandolin
- 3 scallions, outer leaves and green tips removed, minced
- 3-4 tablespoons mayonaise
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 4 dashes hot sauce
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (preferably Meyer lemon)
- 4 fennel springs, torn into tiny fronds
- 4 tarragon sprigs, brunoised
- 1/2 watermelon radish, shaved on a mandolin & julienned
- 3 red radishes, shaved thin on a madolin & julienned
- 3-4 pinches smoked paprika or espelette
In a small mixing bowl mix together the Bay shrimp, mayo, mustard, hot sauce, scallions, lemon juice, and 1/2 the shaved fennel. Taste adjust to your liking adding a little sea salt if necessary or extra mayo or hot sauce.
Mound shrimp salad in scallop shells topping with extra shaved fennel and radish. Dot salads with tarragon and dill. Sprinkle smoked paprika over the top. Serve!