serves: 6 servings
This is a refreshing and simple appetizer that can be served as a main course.
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk celery , cut into pieces
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 pound medium shrimp
8 cups cantaloupe or honeydew, peeled and diced (3/4-inch)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
6 sprigs fresh mint
2 quarts water
In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the onion, celery, and bay leaves. Boil for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately drain the shrimp and let cool.
Meanwhile, combine 3 cups of the melon, the lemon juice and olive oil in a blender. Blend at low speed until completely smooth. Pass the melon puree through a fine sieve to remove the fibers, season lightly with salt, and set aside.
Remove the shells and tails from the shrimp. Cut down the outer curved side of the shrimp to expose the dark vein that runs along the back and scrape away the vein.
In a large bowl, gently toss the remaining 5 cups diced melon, the shrimp, and pepper together. To serve, ladle some of the melon puree into the center of each six salad plates. Set the shrimp and melon salad on top and decorate each plate with a mint sprig.