Market Matters: Sugar Snap Peas & Shrimp Salad Lettuce Wraps

Bay Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Lettuce Wraps from the Hollywood Farmers Market.

It’s been awhile since I stole something from Russ Parson’s and the LA Times. I used to steal his stuff more regularly. Both in my real life and on this blog. But the LA Times Food Section seems to be shrinking to the point that I can’t even find it some weeks. Oh well. Not their fault.

I hope Russ isn’t upset that I stole from him again. But it was laid out there, right in front of me. Practically begging to be stolen. What did he expect– that I’d turn the other cheek? Or do I mean a blind eye? Either way the temptation proved to be too much. So this morning I marched down the hill to the Hollywood Farmers Market, intent on sweet crunchy Sugar Snap Peas. I am so suggestible that way.

I am entertaining tonight. I need something to round out my simple meal of poolside lite-bites. I want something super seasonal too. So I searched out Russ Parson’s Market Fresh column in the paper yesterday. I just knew it would be helpful. But it took some searching. I finally found it on page 6 of the Saturday section. Page 6? Really? Didn’t it used to be easier to find? Well as I suspected he made it a “snap” for me to choose Sugar Snap Peas (sorry I couldn’t resist swinging at that low-ball). His suggestion for serving them was this:

Chop some chives and shallots and stir them into prepared mayonnaise. Combine cooked, shelled shrimp in a bowl with a couple handfuls of sugar snaps, and stir in just enough of the mayonnaise to lightly bind them. That’s dinner.

Well that’s exactly what I am going to do. Well not exactly. I am going to use tarragon instead of chives because I am not leaving the house again today. I have tarragon in the garden and I don’t have chives. Oh and sorry Russ, it’s not dinner. I am going to serve mine using bay shrimp and chopped sugar snap peas wrapped inside a lettuce leaf. I need an appetizer you see.

The fact that I am not following the directions all that closely is, again, not my fault. I would have been more faithful to the recipe if he had included it. Maybe. But I am thinking he probably didn’t include a recipe in fear I might steal that too. Hmmm. Smart man. GREG

Bay Shrimp and Sugar Snap Pea Lettuce Wraps makes 8 CLICK here for a printable recipe

  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 T minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 t rice vinegar
  • 1 lb sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut diagonally into 1/2‑inch pieces
  • 1 lb pre-cooked bay shrimp (125–175 per pound) shelled and deviened
  • 1 pn each kosher salt & black pepper, as needed
  • 1 bn butter lettuce

Cut out the core from a head of butter lettuce. Separeate the leaves, keeping them hole. Wash and dry them well, placing them on a serving plate. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Whisk the mayonnaise, shallots, tarragon and rice vinegar together in small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepare an ice bath by half filling a large bowl with ice, cover with water and set aside.

Bring a large sauce pan half-filled with lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in the sugar snap peas and blanch about 30 seconds. Drain them quickly, then plunge them into the prepared ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain, then dry well with paper towels. Place them in a large, dry bowl. Add the pre-cooked bay shrimp. Toss to combine.

Spoon about 1/2 of the mayonnaise mixture over the shrimp and peas. Gently mix until well combined. Add more mayonnaise only if necessary– just enough to barely coat everything. Season with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

To serve: Dollap big spoonfuls of the shrimp and pea mixture into individual lettuce leaves, letting them act as taco style wrappers. Pass the extra dressing at the table if needed to taste.

Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in PanamaCosta Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.

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  • Look for Greg’s book Savory Pies coming Nov 2012, from Ulysses Press