Red Cabbage and Shrimp Salad
Insalata di verza e gamberi

serves: 6 servings

I love red cabbage. I don't understand why it is so underused a vegetable. It is readily available, inexpensive and quite tasty and refreshing.

1 stalk celery
½ cup carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 pound small shrimp, shelled and deveined
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 medium red cabbage
2 heads Belgian endive


Stir the olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Remove any wilted or dark outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half and cut out the core. Shred the cabbage as thin as you can and add it to the bowl with the dressing. Cut the endives in half lengthwise and cut out the cores. Cut the endives crosswise into 1/3-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Toss the cabbage and endive with the dressing, adding more salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 30 minutes, tossing once or twice, to let the flavors mingle before serving.

Meanwhile, in a 4 to 5-quart pot, bring 2 quarts water, the celery, carrots and bay leaf to a boil. Boil 20 minutes. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and discard. Add the shrimp and boil just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately.

Divide the cabbage mixture among 6 salad plates, arranging it in a mound in the center of the plates. Toss the shrimp in the remaining dressing in the bowl. Arrange the shrimp over the cabbage salad and serve.