Tag Archives: tarragon

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Tarragon-Sumac Dressing

grilled shrimp salad with tarragon and sumacThis non-mayonnaise-based shrimp salad is perfect for a balmy day, offering protection from heat spoilage that most shrimp salads are vulnerable to.  The ingredients for the salad are simple:  grilled shrimp, celery, garbanzo beans, avocado and butter (Bibb) lettuce. A light but flavorful dressing made with Tarragon and Sumac give the salad a great punch of flavor. This recipe calls for the salad to be served chilled, but it also works as a warm salad with the freshly grilled shrimp added right before serving along with the avocado and placed on top of the butter lettuce.

grilled shrimp salad with tarragon-sumac dressingThe key to the keeping the shrimp moist is to grill the shrimp with their shells on, for just 2 minutes per side, just until the shells are pink and the inside opaque. To prepare the shrimp, slice through the outside shell to butterfly the shrimp and devein.  Try to keep the shells in tact as much as possible so the shrimp do not dry out on the grill.  Layer the shrimp on two skewers to ease the grilling process.

Several strong flavors come together in this dressing, providing a great complement to the garbanzo beans, celery and shrimp. Tarragon offers an anise-like accent to the dressing, while the sumac – typically found in Middle-Eastern dishes – provides a tangy citrusy flavor. Chopped shallot, lemon juice and whole grain mustard round out the flavors, mixing well with the EVOO and red wine vinegar.

grilled shrimp salad with tarragon and sumacTo make the salad, chop the celery lengthwise in half and then cross-wise in 1/4″ pieces and add to bowl along with the garbanzo beans.  Add the dressing and let sit until the shrimp has been cooked.  Then add the peeled, chopped shrimp and refrigerate for one to one and a half hours so the shrimp has chilled and the flavors meld.  If you do serve the salad with the hot freshly grilled shrimp, refrigerate the beans, celery and dressing for 30 minutes prior to making the shrimp.  To serve, add the diced avocado to the salad and mix through to coat with dressing.  Place leaves of butter lettuce on top of two plates and spoon the salad on top of the lettuce and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Tarragon-Sumac Dressing
1/2 pound prawns or shrimp with shells on – about 10-12 pieces
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
Salt and Pepper
1 cup garbanzo beans, canned or freshly cooked
¾ cup chopped celery, into ¼” pieces
½ Hass avocado
½ head of butter (Bibb) lettuce

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon grain mustard

Make dressing by combining the shallot, EVOO, vinegar, lemon juice, sumac and mustard.  In a bowl, add the garbanzo beans and celery and add the dressing,  mixing through.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, if serving the salad with warm, grilled shrimp.  If serving the salad cold, then add the cooked, chopped shrimp to the bowl, mix through and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To grill the shrimp:  Cut a slit into the back of the shrimp shell and butterfly and devein, keeping shells in tact so that the shrimp remains juicy when grilled.  Thread the shrimp on two skewers.  Brush the shrimp with EVOO and add salt and pepper.  Grill on high heat for 2 minutes on each side, just so the shrimp is opaque and the shells are pink.  Remove shrimp form the skewers, discard shells and chop the shrimp into large chunks, about 3 pieces per shrimp.  Add shrimp to bowl with beans and celery and mix through.  Refrigerate 1 – 1 ½ hours until the shrimp is chilled and the flavors meld.

When ready to serve, cut the avocado into 1/4″ pieces and add to the salad and mix through.  Divide the lettuce into 2 and place the leaves on 2 separate plates and spoon the salad on top of the lettuce drizzling the remaining dressing onto the  lettuce leaves.

To serve this salad with warm, freshly grilled shrimp. Prepare the dressing, beans, and celery and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then prepare shrimp and add it while hot along with the avocado and mix through so the dressing coats. Then place on top of the lettuce and drizzle the remaining dressing over the lettuce.

Serves 2


Chicken Seafood with Tarragon and Saffron Sauce


Paella is such a classic dish and one of my favorites. I love the flavor of saffron and shellfish mixed together. I would have it more often but I don’t like to eat a main dish that is primarily carbohydrates all that often.  So I created this protein-rich, dish that has the “goodness” of paella with additional seasonings and vegetables that can be served as a stew on its own, or with some rice on the side. I find it satisfies my paella craving while balancing my diet needs.

I use with saffron with tarragon to make for a deeper flavor.  Tarragon has a nice strong anise-like flavor, that can overpower if used in large amounts.  In this recipe, the saffron has a mellowing effect on the tarragon and when combined with the juices of the shellfish, the flavors come together wonderfully.

For this recipe, as in mixed paella, I use chicken, shellfish and sausage.  The sausage I use is a homemade (by someone else) organic chicken chorizo sausage that is made without nitrates.  If you are gluten-free you might skip the sausage altogether.  If you can’t get homemade sausage, you can use packaged pre-cooked sausage and skip the broiling part.

I think this dish will feed your paella cravings, if you get them. Though I must admit, I do still eat paella every so often as a splurge!

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Chicken Seafood with Tarragon and Saffron Sauce


6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs  (about 2.5 lbs)

6 large prawns or 12 medium sized shrimp – shelled and deveined; tails on

12 clams (cherrystone, little necks or whatever your preference)

1 lb of mussels

2 chicken chorizo sausages, fresh, uncooked, no nitrates

2 tablespoons chopped tarragon (1/8 cup) tarragon leaves, chopped

¼ teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads

2 garlic cloves chopped or grated using microplane

1 yellow onion halved then sliced thinly

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

1 ½ lbs of green beans – VVV ends removed

1 red bell pepper – chopped, cored, seeded and cut into ¼ pieces

I bottle white wine

Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place fresh sausages on the baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes.  Slice into ¼ inch pieces when cool enough to handle

In Dutch oven, on a stove top over med-high heat, add two tablespoons canola oil.  Pat chicken thighs with paper towels to remove moisture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  When oil is hot, add chicken thighs to pot and cook for 6 minutes – 3 on each side.  Remove thighs to a resting plate.  Add chopped onion, garlic, tarragon, saffron and salt to pot and sauté until softened… 5 minutes. Add red pepper and sauté for 1 more minute.  Add ¼ cup of wine and start to deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon.  I do this 4 times in total, each with a ¼ cup of wine.  Then add the rest of the bottle of wine, chicken thighs, sausage and string beans to pot. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook 25 minutes.  Then turn up the heat until a boil and add fresh clams, mussels and prawns to pot and cover and cook until shells open and prawns are opaque.   If you your clams have harder shells like cherrystone, put them in the pot a few minutes before the mussels and prawns.  Uncover and mix seafood, and chicken together in pot with sauce and string beans and serve.

Serve in bowls as is or over rice.

Serves 6.