Hotter temperatures call for lighter meals, generally. I don't usually feel like a giant bowl of pasta when it's 80 degrees out (though there are , of course, exceptions) so we have been eating a lot of salads lately. When it's hot I'm always craving Thai or Mexican food (I think it's something about the spices),and I think the shrimp and asparagus go really well with a soy dressing. The peanuts add a little crunch, and the lime provides a hit of acidity – pair with a cold beer, and what else do you really need on a hot June night?
Shrimp and Asparagus Salad (serves 3-4)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/8 cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 oz. mixed greens
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp, and asparagus and sauté until shrimp are pink and cooked through and asparagus are bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from heat and place shrimp and asparagus in a large bowl. Pour dressing over, then add greens and peanuts and toss to coat. Serve immediately.