Martha and Me and Ina

Posted by Brette in Food

I’m in a quick-cooking mode as life continues to be completely crazy with games, concerts, award ceremonies, and doctor and dentist appointments – not to mention a completely packed work schedule. I’m throwing together dinners left and right here. My latest entry into the “throw together dinner” category is a salad I whipped up. Once in a while I like to make a big salad for dinner, but it has to include protein. I remembered I had a bag of shrimp, so I got it out and defrosted it (dump the frozen shrimp in a colander and put it in a sink of warm water and it will defrost in minutes). I remembered a trick I saw Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, do on her show. She was talking about how she likes to serve shrimp cocktail, but finds that if you boil shrimp it is watery and flavorless. So she roasts her shrimp with olive oil and garlic. I gave it a try – putting the peeled shrimp on a baking tray with 2 chopped cloves of garlic, sprinkling with olive oil and salt and pepper. I roasted it at 400 for about 4 minutes and the shrimp was done and lovely looking.

For the salads, I started with a bed of Boston lettuce. Then I just dug in the fridge and found a red pepper, some baby carrots, snap peas, smoked Havarti cheese, and cucumber. I added the shrimp on top. Then I took Martha’s recipe for Green Goddess dip in June Living and modified it into a dressing. I used half an avocado and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. I whizzed that up and then dumped in 1 tsp of Green Goddess seasoning I have from Penzey’s Spice House. I added 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp sugar and some salt and pepper. I poured it on top and that was dinner. I served the Herbed Flatbread from yesterday’s post with it. I thought the dinner was fantastic. The shrimp had a wonderful flavor, so I will definitely be using this method again. I loved the Green Goddess dressing – no surprise since I love avocados. Mr. MarthaAndMe was not as much of a fan. It’s hard to get him to eat a salad in general (unless it’s loaded with Caesar dressing). He thought the lettuce was bitter. It was local lettuce, which I find tends to be a bit bitter in early summer. So he didn’t appreciate my lovely salad. Teen Martha wasn’t home and Dude Martha picked at some but didn’t really eat it. Oh well. I guess I’ll stick to making salads for lunch.

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10 Responses

  • Oh, Ina, how I love thee. I can’t bear to watch her show anymore–she seems so smug these days–but I worked on her first few cookbooks (in marketing) and she was my inspiration for moving from books to food. I’d try anything she recommended.

  • I know what you mean. She always does seem just a smidge too happy with herself. And I get tired of the excuses she has to come up with for cooking on the show – Jeffrey’s coming home, her friend Doug opened a store, so-and-so is having a birthday, etc. Her food is spectacular though. I’m a bit disappointed that she is now selling a line of pre-made food. We all know Ina would never eat that (though I’ll bet she has a package or Oreos in her cupboard!), but I guess I can’t blame her for cashing in. There’s something about her food that is classic and simple that I just love – and I love her for being unashamedly plus-sized too. Her lemon chicken recipe is one of my standby recipes.

  • Alene says:

    I agree with you guys too!! But I still like watching her. There’s something about the show… And her recipes are too fattening! But I have no ideas for dinner tonight, so I’m going to make a version of your salad recipe, I think. I have frozen shrimp from forever in the freezer, new lettuces from my just begun CSA (got garlic curls, broccoli rabe,sugar snaps, 2 lettuces, curly endive and what our farmer calls salad turnips – which I do not love) and the sugar snaps and odds and ends. And I’m amending the dressing, cuz I don’t have an avocado or buttermilk! Thanks Martha! And if all this fails, I’ll look at Ina’s lemon chicken recipe. Thanks!

  • I’m glad it gave you an idea. Let me know how it turns out. I’ve never had salad turnips. I love the idea of a CSA, but I essentially get the same thing from my father who grows tons of stuff! And you’re right – Ina’s recipes are pretty fattening. I like to watch her too. I find her calming in a way. She doesn’t get all upset or excited, she just cooks and enjoys it.

  • Alene says:

    Martha&me: I ended up using an old recipe from Martha Living Mag. and changed it. It was a Nicoise (sp?) Salad recipe arranged beautifully (like she usually does). I used the froz. shrimp instead of tuna, sugar snaps instead of green beans, potatoes cut up, olives, fresh lettuce & garbanzo beans (for fiber!!) w/ a French vinaigrette. Yum! My husband loved it! Thank you so much! The shrimp idea got me going. That’s why I love your blog. So much healthier than our fallback position of grilling hamburgers.

  • That sounds great. I never think to add potatoes to salad but I would like it I think.

  • This salad sounds yummy. I was wondering how to make the shrimp taste better. Will try roasting them. Also like the dressing idea. Thanks for the tips!

  • Sheryl says:

    If you served this to me, I really would have appreciated it – and probably would have asked for seconds. It’s right up my alley. Thanks for posting a healthy, quick dinner idea. Sometimes I think I overthink the whole cooking thing, and forget there are quick and easy ways to do things!

  • I love the idea of roasting the shrimp instead of boiling it. Keeping things simple often makes for the tastiest dishes–olive oil, salt, shrimp, salad, sounds easy, delicious.

  • Well next time I’ll invite you and Mr. MarthaAndMe can order a pizza! Yes, sometimes simple things are wonderful.