Friday, June 8, 2018

Salad with Eric Ripert's Curry Vinaigrette & Curried Croutons, Served with Grilled Curry Shrimp

My heart hurts today. It hurts for Anthony Bourdain, for his family, his friends, and those who loved him. We've lost other celebrities and people in the public eye, as recently designer Kate Spade earlier in the week, but there was something about waking up to losing the life force that was Anthony Bourdain that made it seem harder and more real. Kitchen Confidential was one of my first foodie memoirs and I continued to read Bourdain's books, watch his shows, follow him on Instagram, and admire his talent, wit and candor, and how he brought both food and a better understanding of the world to so many of us. He will be sorely missed.

As an introvert who doesn't often share my deepest feelings--and especially when they are feelings of pain, I implore you, I implore me, to do whatever you need to do to share and talk it out if it feels that it has become too much to handle. There are people out there who care about you, or if you aren't comfortable reaching out that way, call the National Suicide Prevention Help Line (1-800-273-8255)--it's 24/7, toll-free, confidential and can provide support. Know that you matter and that you are loved. And know that a smile, a kind word, and listening sincerely and without judgment to others can be so helpful to someone who is in pain. I try to think about what I say, or write before I do it and if I can't say something positive that uplifts rather than tears down, I think it is better left unsaid. If we were all even just a little kinder to each other, our world will be a better place. 

So it seems a bit odd to post a recipe tonight, and an Eric Ripert recipe at that--he was Anthony Bourdain's best friend and sadly, the person who found him. Truth be told, I almost didn't want to even cook tonight, but I had planned to make this recipe for I Heart Cooking Clubs, I had good jumbo shrimp thawed, fresh bread and greens bought, and the act of tossing it together into an easy dinner was somewhat soothing. There's a certain solace for me in the kitchen. As I sat down with my plate of salad, bread and shrimp and a glass of white wine, I toasted Anthony Bourdain and wished him peace. 

About the recipe: I had been eyeing Eric Ripert's Mâche Salad with Curry Vinaigrette for a while but mâche is difficult to find here so I subbed in an organic baby spinach and greens mix. Wanting something to make it more of a main dish, I added in a tomato and grilled shrimp. When I can't find local shrimp, I try to stock my freezer shrimp from Whole Foods--where there are checks and balances on the producers they buy from and it is sustainably farmed. If you don't do shrimp, this salad would be perfectly delicious on it's own as a starter or side, or add your favorite protein to make it a full meal.

Mâche Salad with Curry Vinaigrette
Adapted from Food & Wine 
(Serves 4)

5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp Madras curry powder
3 oz peasant or country bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
kosher salt
2 oz mâche lettuce (8 cups) (I used mixed greens and baby spinach)
1/4 cup chopped chives  (I subbed in 1 Roma tomato--cored, seeded & chopped)
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon of the curry powder and add the bread. Toast over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a plate.

In a bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder with the lemon juice; season with salt. Toss gently with the mâche and chives; transfer to plates and top with the croutons.

For the Shrimp: I tossed good jumbo shrimp--peeled and de-veined, tail shells removed, in olive oil, Madras curry powder, smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper and threaded them onto wooden skewers (soak skewers in water for 5  minutes first). I heated a grill pan on high heat and cooked the shrimp--about 2 minutes per side until they were golden and pink and firm all the way through. 

Notes/Results:  OK, crispy curry croutons are a very good thing--especially enjoyed with salad with a curried dressing and the addition of lightly curried shrimp. It's like a one-two-three punch of curry, flavorful but not overwhelming. This was a quick and easy dinner--perfect for a humid Friday night--especially when the heart is hurting. I will happily make the dressing and croutons (and the shrimp) again.

Linking up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where our theme is From the Salad Bowl--any kind of Eric Ripert salad recipes.
I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Finally, it's a salad so I am linking up to Souper Sundays here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup 



  1. It's such a blow. I feel so awful for his family (and poor Eric). I looked back at the Cook the Books roundup from Kitchen Confidential yesterday - I think I am going to have to re-read.

  2. A great tribute. I was gutted when I heard the news. My heart goes out to his family and I'm so sad that he could longer find hope.

  3. My heart hurts as well and I feel like I was punched in the gut. That said, I cannot imagine what his family is feeling. I keep thinking of his daughter. So sad.

  4. Heartbreaking waking up to that. So sad.

    Thanks for sharing this salad. Nothing sounded good until I saw your salad! I used a different dressing (with ingredients I had on hand) and it was delicious. Yours looks so good!

  5. I'm glad you posted, even though you didn't feel like cooking or posting. It's good to talk. Good recipe.


  6. So sad about Anthony Bourdain.

    Looks good but I'd swap the shrimp for chicken.


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