At this time of year, the selection of fresh vegetables starts to get redundant. Soon, we’ll start to grow tired of root vegetables and sturdy greens. But in winter, a raft of exotic fruits appear on store shelves. True, they’re more costly than your average apple or pair but their intense flavors go a long way. Especially if you pair them with the “warming spices.” For this recipe, I’ve spiced up blackened shrimp with cumin, paprika and the aphrodisiacs of cinnamon and cayenne. Then I’ve tossed them in a salad filled with the bright, tangy flavors and colors of kumquat and pomegranate, another great aphrodisiac ingredient.
Use caution when removing the seeds from a pomegranate, as the juice can stain. Cut the fruit into quarters, and pull open in the sink, under running water to prevent splashes. Bend the quarters open to release the seeds. Or, you can just buy POM Wonderful’s POM POMs, which are pomegranate seeds removed from their shell and ready to go
This recipe features shrimp blackened in a custom blend of sweet and savory spices on top of a kumquat and pomegranate salad.
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups watercress cleaned and stemmed
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds about 1 pomegranate
- ½ cup diced whole kumquats about 6
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette in a small bowl and refrigerate until use. (Or place in a lidded container with a jar and shake to emulsify.)
- Combine all ingredients for salad.
- Combine the spices for the shrimp in a large zip-lock plastic bag. Add shrimp to the bag, seal and shake. Remove shrimp from the bag.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp when oil is hot and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until shrimp is done.
- Toss the salad with vinaigrette, divide onto 2 plates, top each with 6 shrimp and serve immediately.
I’ve put together a whole menu of recipes featuring warming spices and the magic of winter fruits. Check out the full menu.
Diane Brown is author of The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers
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