Fresh cilantro and mint are the star herbs in this summery salad from “Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics” (Ballantine Books, $32.50). But there’s so much more flavor, thanks to avocado, corn, shrimp and lime juice.
“There are more than 50 varieties of corn grown in Peru,” Garcia writes. “The kind known as Peruvian corn has large kernels with a nice crunchy texture. You can find it frozen in Latin markets or use fresh or frozen local sweet corn instead.”
Meanwhile, guasacaca salsita is a Venezuelan-style guacamole-like sauce.
Chilled Shrimp and Peruvian Corn Salad
For the shrimp:
1 lemon cut in wedges
16 jumbo shrimp (about 1 pound) peeled and deveined
For the corn salad:
1 cup Peruvian corn or fresh or frozen (thawed) sweet corn
1/2 cup finely chopped jicama
1 medium jalapeño, halved and finely chopped (seeded and deveined for less heat)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lime plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Spicy guasacaca salsita:
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 clove garlic, optional
Place a large bowl of ice water on the counter. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Add the lemon wedges and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, set a steamer basket in the pan, and place the shrimp in the basket. Cover the pan and cook the shrimp until they are pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the shrimp to ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the shrimp are completely cold, remove them from the ice water and place them in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place the corn in a medium bowl and add the jicama, jalapeño, cilantro and mint, stirring to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and pour the dressing over the corn mixture. Stir to combine and set aside.
To make the guasacaca: Place the avocado in the bowl of a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add cilantro, lime juice, salt, Tabasco sauce and garlic, if using, and purée until completely smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Divide the pureed guasacaca mixture among four plates, and using the back of a spoon, spread it out evenly. Top with 1/4 cup of the corn salad, 4 shrimp and a little of the lime zest. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
From “Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics”