Radish and Fennel Salad with Brussels Sprouts and Shrimp

Anyone else ready for spring? I know I am. While February was, for the most part, unseasonably warm, March became the month to escape. It got cold... very cold. And the snow fell, then melted, then fell again. Mother Nature, can you please stop messing with our heads? Please and thank you. I'm pretty sure we're moving on to warmer times, but it looks like it'll be wet for a while before we get to enjoy some much-deserved sunshine. 

I've had very few free moments these last couple of weeks, which means zero effort has been made to putting together recipes for the blog. I've sort of accepted it. If nothing happens, oh well. I can't force it and I certainly don't feel like it's worth stressing out over. That's why there were some lulls last month. Hoping to spend more time creating content in the coming weeks.

We just returned from New Jersey, where we celebrated my grandmother's birthday, and I got to see my nieces, both of whom recently celebrated theirs, and my mom, whose birthday is on Thursday. Eric and I arrived bearing lots of gifts for the little ones. Of course, the most exciting thing was a spinwheel like contraption I picked up from the Harvard Museum of Natural History. That and a ladybug umbrella. Both were a big hit. 

I've had the last few days free (meaning that I've been home working, editing photos that I should've done over the weekend). To break up the excessive amounts of computer time, recipes were crafted.  It's funny what a little kitchen time can do to raise one's spirits. I definitely needed that. And, here we have one of those creations... a bridge from winter to spring. Crispy vegetables tossed with roasted Brussels sprouts and shrimp and drizzled with a bright lemony, Dijon dressing. We scarfed this down for dinner the other night and I'm planning on making this (and variations on it), throughout the season. 

radish and fennel salad with bRUSSELS SPROUTS AND SHRIMP

Radish salad adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe in The New York TImes

Cut-resistant kitchen gloves

Serves 2-4

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small shallot, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ounce lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Extra ­virgin olive oil
3 cups fresh parsley leaves
2 celery stalks, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline (1 cup)
6 radishes, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline (1 cup)
1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline (1 cup)
2 teaspoons drained capers
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), as needed
Black pepper, as needed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut each in half lengthwise. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt. Spread Brussels sprouts on baking sheet in an even layer. Transfer to the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes, flipping half way through, until they are browned evenly (some leaves may burn and that's ok). Once cooked, transfer to a bowl to let cool. 

2. Again, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread a small amount of oil on the foil and place the shrimp in a single layer on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 7-8 minutes, until cooked through. 

3. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in shallot. 

4. Put the sliced celery, radish, and fennel in a mixing bowl. Mix in the Brussels sprouts and the parsley. Transfer to a serving platter.

5. Distribute cooked shrimp over salad. Spoon dressing over the dish and then sprinkle cappers on top. Season with sea salt and black pepper.