We’ve been vacationing in Kiawah Island, South Carolina forever, and it doesn’t matter how long the drive has been, or how tired we are of being in the car (or the plane) we always stop at our favorite open-air market on the way to the island. No matter what we are in the mood for, no matter what time of year it is, this place will have something to meet the moment. Usually that mood involves shrimp, which is off-the-boat fresh and sweet and otherworldly down here. Sitting next to the cooler that held the shrimp were bags of fresh butter beans, next to those were deep, rich red heirloom tomatoes, and next to them was a beautiful corn display. In other words, the recipe for my first vacation dinner was essentially written for me…
Warm Summer Shrimp Salad with Butter Beans
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, shelled
7 red potatoes, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 cup fresh butter beans (or frozen limas)
3 ears corn
1 medium-large beautiful summer tomato (the best you can find), chopped
5 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced finely
Place two medium-large pots of water on the stove. When one comes to boil, add the shrimp and cook exactly three minutes, then drain running cold water over them to cool. Add to a large serving bowl, keeping the strainer in the sink. In the other pot, add potatoes and cook 8-10 minutes until tender. (Test by slicing one; the knife should meet no resistance.) Using a slotted spoon, scoop them out and into the strainer. Add the butter beans to the pot, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes (less if frozen, about 5 probably). Using a slotted spoon, scoop the beans into the strainer as well. Repeat with ears of corn, simmering in water for 3-4 minutes, before straining. Run all the strained vegetables under a little cold water.
When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the corn and add to the shrimp. Add all the cooked vegetables into the salad bowl, top with scallions, drizzle with dressing (below), and serve.
Dressing: In a small jar or measuring cup, shake or whisk 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper, fresh chopped herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, dill, basil). Shake or whisk 1/3 cup olive oil into jar in steady stream until emulsified.
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