Broccolini Salad with Potatoes, Shrimp, and IASA Mayonnaise

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

A little spice and a whole lot of flavor

Here’s an easy broccolini salad to put together at home. As always, the better the quality of the ingredients the tastier the salad is going to be!

For the shrimp, there’s a huge difference in quality from one offering to the next. I’m spoiled for having access to the wild-caught North Carolina shrimp we get at the Roadhouse. They’re much sweeter and cleaner in flavor and finish than the far more common farm-raised shrimp from Southeast Asia. (Monahan’s Seafood Market is a great source of quality comparable to what we get at the Roadhouse!)

The IASA, if you’re not yet familiar with it, is the terrific jarred peperoncino from the southern Italian coastal town of Cetara. It’s made with one particular pepper variety that grows near the town. Chopped and stored in good olive oil, the resulting peperoncino is beyond outstanding. Markedly hot, but not crazy over the top, it has a lovely complex flavor and a compellingly long umami finish! The IASA peperoncino has been on the menu at the Roadhouse for the last eight months where it quickly won over a legion of loyal regulars. It’s been on our retail shelves, too—first at the Cream Top Shop, then at the Deli, and as of last month, at Mail Order too! Pretty much anyone who likes some heat and tries the IASA is inspired to buy some to take home. Tammie and I buy it by the quart jar. We put it on pretty much everything!

To make this broccolini salad, start by cooking some potatoes—Yukon Golds or other more flavorful varietals would be best—in salted water. If they’re small, you can figure about two or three potatoes per person. When they’re very tender, remove from the water and allow to cool a little. Cut into chunks—I prefer them cut in about one-inch cubes.

Cut the broccolini into roughly one- to two-inch-long pieces, then blanch or steam it in/over salted water. Remove from the heat, and drain quickly so it doesn’t overcook. 

Sauté the shrimp in their shells in hot extra virgin olive oil. While they’re in the pan, sprinkle them with a bit of sea salt. As soon as the shrimp are done, take them out of the pan. When they’re cool enough to handle (but still warm), peel and place in a good-sized mixing bowl. If there’s oil left in the pan, pour it over the cut potatoes and stir gently. 

Mix some mayonnaise with a good bit of the spicy IASA. I’ll let you taste and determine portions as you go. Now mix the whole thing—potatoes, broccolini, shrimp, and dressing—gently in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve like that, slightly warm still, on a bed of spring salad greens. Or you can chill it in the fridge for a day or two and serve later. Hard-boiled eggs are a great accompaniment—you can add them into the salad too if you prefer! 

The broccolini salad is a great study in contrasts: spicy and creamy, surf and the sturdy “vegetable turf” of the broccolini and the potatoes! It’s a spicy, creamy, combo of seafood, vegetables, and potatoes that makes a great meal for lunch or dinner!