Melon salad with shrimp and wild arugula

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Melon salad with shrimp and wild arugula
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Bring the white wine, water, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes and minced shallots to a simmer in a saucepan over high heat. When the liquid boils, add the shrimp. As soon as the liquid returns to the boil, cover it tightly and turn off the heat. When the pan is cool enough, put it in the refrigerator to chill.


When ready to serve the salad, peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the cooking liquid. Cut the cantaloupe into quarters, peel it and cut the flesh crosswise into half-inch-thick slices. Trim the arugula and tear it into bite-sized pieces.


Strain the shrimp cooking liquid. Place 1 tablespoon of it in a small, lidded jar. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and shake well to make a smooth, thick dressing. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if necessary.


Put the melon slices in a work bowl and add enough dressing to coat lightly (about 2 tablespoons). Toss gently and arrange the melon in a single layer on a serving platter. Add the arugula to the work bowl and add enough dressing to coat lightly. Toss and arrange on top of the melon. Repeat with the peeled shrimp and arrange on top of the arugula. Serve immediately.

You can use regular arugula for this, but the wild kind available at farmers markets has a peppery flavor and a firmer texture that’s even better.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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