The inspiration for this salad comes from the tallest member of the Bill and Nancy Belmont Farmette–Anethum graveolens —Dillweed. A gift from Tally May, this plant was maybe five inches tall when I put it in the ground eight short weeks ago, and now it’s in its glory: almost five feet of aromatic feathery leaves and whorls of pinpoint blooms–a kind of fireworks display in yellow.
The ancient Greeks regarded Dill as the plant of prosperity, its very presence indicated wealth.
So, I feel mightily blessed to have my one-and-only gracing the garden front.
It’s early June, and temperatures are already creeping up into the 90’s. My garden mesclun greens are plentiful, but in danger of turning bitter. With heat and greens and billowy dill, I ‘ve got the makings for a summery salad for dinner, no time to lose!
What other good things to build the salad?
Look to the season’s offerings, I remind myself: they all play well together.
So, we’ve got
Cucumbers, new potatoes, and sugar snap peas……
some shrimp coated with dillweed and lemon zest, quickly seared in the pan.
Composing a salad—-laying out all the elements in mandala-like fashion on a plate—is a simple way to make a stunning presentation. It also gives it structure, a place for each ingredient to be.
This salad is delicious served chilled or at room temperature. It doesn’t take long to make and I find that combining chilled things (sugar snaps, greens, cukes) with warm things (shrimp, new potatoes) in the dish enhances flavors. For vegetarians like Bill, I substitute chevre for the shrimp.
Give it all a good drizzle of of the lemony-dijon-dill dressing. Enjoy! These garden lettuces and herbs are fleeting things.
Dilled Shrimp and Sugar Snap Salad
10 pieces Peeled and Deveined Raw Shrimp
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
Fresh Dillweed–a few stems
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Sugar Snap Peas—a handful, maybe 12-15 pieces
Cucumber—just a piece (less than half of one)
4-5 roasted Baby New Potatoes
Mixed Salad Greens, washed and dried
Place shrimp in a bowl and toss with olive oil, lemon zest, and sea salt. Wrap each shrimp with a sprig of dill.
Blanche Sugar Snaps in a skillet of boiling water for less than a minute–forty five seconds. Remove and chill.
Slice cucumbers and new potatoes.
Heat a skillet and drop in shrimp to sear for a minute one one side–then flip and sear on the other. Remove from heat and let the shrimp sit in the skillet.
Arrange lettuces on the plate.Add a ring of slice cucumbers and new potatoes, then sugar snaps.
Top with cooked shrimp. Drizzle with lemon-dill aioli and garnish with a few dill sprigs and lemon slice.
1 clove roasted Garlic
3 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 heaping Tablespoon chopped Dillweed
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
In a small bowl, mash the roasted garlic with a fork and mix in the lemon juice, dijon, dillweed, and salt. Mix into a paste. Add in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is emulsified. Taste for seasoning and acidity—add more lemon if you like.
Here’s hoping this noble plant will reseed and return next spring!