In the Caribbean we’re notorious for having heavy meals, not complaining, but there are times when a salad is the order of the day. Using ingredients that are important in the culinary landscape of the islands, you’ll find this salad very simple to put together and amazed by its unique flavors.
As a kid growing up on the islands we had several avocado (aka pear or zabouca) tress surrounding our house, so I grew up having a strong appreciation for this wonderful fruit. This will explain why you’ll see it used in so many different recipes I share.
3/4 lb shrimp (cooked)
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 medium red onion
1 cup grape tomatoes (optional)
3 tablespoon orange juice
1 chilli pepper chopped fine
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
Notes: I used pre-packaged shrimp which were already cleaned and cooked (steamed). Check the frozen section of your grocery store. With the mango you need one which is not fully ripe (half ripe as we say in the Caribbean) as you need it to hold it’s shape and not fall apart when mixed with the other ingredients. Don’t cut or peel the avocado until you’re almost done assembling the salad and ready to gently toss with the dressing or it will go discolored.
Peel, wash and dice the mango. Remember there will be a hard seed in the center of the mango.
Peel and cut the grapefruit into segments. Do so but cutting off the top (stem) and bottom of the grapefruit (so it sits stable on your cutting board). Then using a sharp knife, with a sort of sawing motion, cut and discard the skin. Go deep enough to expose the flesh of the grapefruit. You will now have a ball shape with exposed juicy grapefruit. Cut the segments and gently handle them.
Wash and chop the cilantro, then slice the onion very thin and get ready to assemble everything. As I mentioned above I used frozen pre-cooked shrimp so I allowed them to thaw, then rinsed and pat dry with paper towels.
Let’s now make the dressing we’ll be using. Chop the chilli pepper (remove the seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat) and add everything to a bowl and give it a good whisk.
Put all the ingredients (not the dressing or avocado) in a large bowl and season with the salt and black pepper. If you don’t have grape tomatoes, you can use a regular tomato, but do remove the seeds.
Add the dressing, give it a mix, then add the diced avocado. Try to be gentle from this point on as we don’t want to make the ripe avocado into a mush. Gently fold so everything gets coated in the wonderful dressing.
You’ll love the creaminess of the avocado, the wonderful fruitiness of the mango, the exciting flavors of the dressing and the shrimp will set this off! What I especially like is the ‘pop’ you get when you burst into one of the plump grape tomatoes. If you want you can chill this before adding the dressing as it will not keep after you add the dressing. There’s enough here for 5 people as a starter or 3 people as a main course for lunch. BTW..watch for the little kick from the chilli pepper we used.