I stood there staring at the cover. It seemed as if for only a brief moment. Then I heard the cashier politely say “Mam” and looked up to see I was holding up the line. I pulled the magazine from the rack and paid for it and my groceries. After coming home and putting away the goods, I sat down and started flipping through the magazine. The recipe stood out as much as the photo of it on the cover. The only thing getting in the way was the ingredients. I filed it away to wait for the season to arrive. Time flew, the season came and went twice, and finally the opportunity to make Summer Shrimp Tomato Salad presented itself.
Heirloom tomatoes are one of my favorite summer treats. My adoration of them started years ago when I ordered a tomato salad in San Francisco. I was intrigued the moment I saw the different colors and sizes of tomatoes on the plate. Each one tasted a little different. Then a few days later in Healdsburg I had the most incredible BLT. Heirlooms is what made it so good. I was completely hooked after that vacation.
Finding heirloom tomatoes in my area is difficult. I used to get some every week in the summer at a farmers market held a few miles away on Thursday afternoons. I would arrive the moment it opened so I could get the first pick. The farmer knew I’d be there too and he would set the best ones aside in a box for me. I miss that market very much. Now the only places I can get heirlooms are a 45 minute or more drive away. I happened to be near one of those markets the other day and I spotted heirlooms the moment I walked in the door. I left the market with close to ten pounds of them.
I pulled out the magazine to get the recipe. The list of ingredients was intriguing. A citrus dressing on a tomato salad got the wheels turning in my head. I thought of adding shrimp to it because of shrimp goes so nicely with both tomatoes and citrus. Then came an obstacle. It called for lady peas. The chances of finding those peas are somewhere between slim and none. Substituting was all I could do. Corn came to mind along with navy beans. It all came together splendidly in the end.
Do you enjoy heirloom tomatoes? If so, be sure to take a look at Steak and Heirloom Tomato Salad. For a combo of shrimp and corn there’s Hatch Chile Shrimp Corn Chowder and hatch chile season is coming soon too. I’m ready for summer to arrive and the bounty of produce to come along with it. If only it wouldn’t be so blazing hot and humid.
Summer Shrimp Tomato Salad
- 1/4 cup nectarine juice
- 2 seeded and minced jalapeño peppers
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Juice of 1 lime
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup cooked corn kernels at room temperature
- 1 cup rinsed and drained canned navy beans
- 1/2 pound cooked small baby shrimp
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3 pounds assorted tomatoes*
- Fresh basil leaves torn
Whisk together nectarine juice, jalapeño peppers, honey, lime juice, lemon zest, and ginger paste in a large bowl.
Add corn, navy beans, shrimp, and onion. Gently stir or toss to combine.
Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Add to bowl and gently toss to combine. Garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
You can use a variety of tomatoes including heirlooms, grape, cherry, pear, plum, or whatever is fresh and available from your garden or local market.
Recipe adapted from one in the Southern Living 2013 Fresh Garden Recipes Special Edition Magazine.