This is an adaptation of a recipe on Smitten Kitchen. The difference between this version and Deb’s is that it’s not meatless, although I suppose if you were inclined, you can omit the shrimp and it will taste just as delicious.
Gambas al ajillo, or “garlic shrimp” in Spanish, is just that — shrimp sautéed in olive oil and garlic. It’s a classic Spanish tapa that’s also a favorite in my kitchen. After all, it’s just shrimp, salt, olive oil and garlic. You could make this a meal all by itself, with some crusty bread on the side to sop up the juices.
What I love about this salad is the interplay between the shrimp and the vegetables. It’s truly a symphony that’s more than the sum of its parts.
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 lb. small-sized new potatoes, sliced in half
1 summer squash or zucchini, thinly sliced
2 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, diced
about 1/4 lb. sugar snap peas, trimmed
6 small young onions, peeled and trimmed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
1/4 cup water
For the garlic shrimp:
Place shrimp in a small bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Gently warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add half of the garlic and cook until garlic takes on a little color, about 1 minute. Add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns orange-pink. Taste for salt, then remove from heat and set aside.
For the potatoes and peas:
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In the pot in which you cooked the potatoes, bring a similar quantity of lightly salted water to a boil, then add the sugar snap peas. Cook until peas are crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, then shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside.
For the quick-pickled onions:
Whisk vinegar, water, salt and sugar together in the bottom of a small container with a lid until the salt and sugar dissolve. Sliver the onions, and add to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Cover, then place in the refrigerator. Let the onions pickle for one to two hours, or preferably overnight. Pickled onions can be made in advance. Reserve 3 to 4 tablespoons pickling liquid.
For the zucchini and tomato sauté:
Gently warm olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add remaining garlic and cook until it takes on a little color, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add summer squash or zucchini, along with a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables turn a pale golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes to the pan; cook, stirring frequently or until tomatoes have warmed through and have begun to partially break down. Remove from heat.
Whisk together reserved pickling liquid and 1/4 cup olive oil.
Combine tomato mixture, along with potatoes and sugar snap peas in a large glass bowl. Mix well. Spoon onto a salad plate, top with shrimp and pickled onions. Spoon dressing atop salad, as desired, then serve at once.
Time: 1 hour, including prep.