I love lazy mornings like the one I had this morning, with no alarm clocks and no long commutes. I didn’t have to fuss with my hair, and stayed in my pajamas a little longer. I slept in, groggily waking up just in time for Chris to hand me my morning latté and to kiss him goodbye, as he scurried off to work. I spent the early morning wandering about my garden, lamenting my tardiness in planting the zucchini, carrots, and peas, which I promised myself I would do tomorrow. I halfheartedly leafed through a couple of cookbooks, while watching The Today Show, looking for inspiration for what to make for lunch. I finally got dressed and headed out the door to run some errands. Once I arrived at Whole Foods, I took my time wandering around the pristine aisles, where the produce guy caught me doing a happy dance after spotting some fresh rhubarb, hidden behind some carrots and turnips.
Back at home, I made myself this beautiful salad for lunch. I missed being in the kitchen, as my schedule has not permitted me that luxury for the past week, resulting in the neglect of my blog, and the presence of a few takeaway containers in the fridge, among other things. It was comforting to hold the knife to cut some tomatoes and turn on the stove to fry the pancetta, even for something simple like this salad. It was also nice to pick up the camera and snap a few photos of, what else, food! Aaaahhhh! I’m back to my routine and back to doing the things I missed all week.
I had a beautiful morning! How about you? How would you spend a carefree morning?
Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Pancetta, Lemon, and Mache
Yields 4 servings
2 to 3 ounces diced pancetta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
juice and zest of 1 meyer lemon (regular lemons are fine to use as well)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut in half
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
salt and freshly ground black pepper
mache (also known as corn salad), or any other salad greens
edible flowers, optional, from your garden or available at grocery stores
Place the pancetta in a small pan and cook until brown and crispy. Remove pancetta and place on a paper towel to drain excess fat. Set aside.
Melt butter in a sauté pan and add garlic and parsley. Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, turning once, about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the dressing, combine the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil. Set aside.
To assemble salad, place each of the four avocado halves on a separate plate. Evenly divide the sautéed shrimp and the grape tomatoes between each plate. Add a mound of mache on each plate. Drizzle with lemon/olive oil dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with diced pancetta and edible flowers.
Inspired by Avocado Salad with Lemon, Bacon, and Watercress recipe from Eat This Book by Tyler Florence, Clarkson Potter, New York, 2005.
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