Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Taste of Bretagne

Last spring when I was in France, I was served a memorable salad before my lunch that was comprised in large part of grapefruit and shrimp. At the time, it seemed to me something that would be worth approximating after I returned home. In addition to being delicious, it appeared that it would be fairly simple to make, and it would undoubtedly make a great impression on my guest(s). Then I mostly forgot about it. Until yesterday morning, when Ms. O said something that reminded me of it. Suddenly I wanted to make it for her.

I couldn’t find anything in my cookbooks, and when I went online, searching for grapefruit and shrimp or grapefruit and shrimp and salad, I came up with some similar things, especially a couple that also included avocado that I may try at some point down the line, but nothing that represented the dish I had enjoyed. I then tried to call my French travel partner, Fast Freddie, hoping she might be able to help me out, but as I was dialing I remembered she isn’t much of a seafood fan. Even though we were served the same dish, she probably hadn’t felt the same way about it that I did. On the other hand, her husband is French—maybe he would know something about it. As it turned out, she wasn’t home. Or wherever her cell phone was. Or taking calls from me at that time. Which is when Ms. O had the breakthrough idea:

“Why don’t you google the words in French?”

As soon as I could remember the word for shrimp in French, I did it (you never forget the word for grapefruit—pamplemousse), and there they were at the very top of the list—variations on this wonderful dish I wanted to make for my girlfriend. And the information that it is a regional dish specific to Bretagne. No wonder it hasn’t made its way to the cookbooks I have on hand or to the enormous compilation of online recipes in English (at least on an initial cursory search).

So, here it is. Three ingredients in its simplest form, and the chance to wow friends with a simple, fresh dish they have probably never seen before.

What you need:

1 grapefruit

100 grams of already cooked shrimp (roughly a ¼ pound—essentially equal parts grapefruit and shrimp)

2 dollops of mayonnaise

What you do:

Halve the grapefruit. Remove the fruit, and chop it up. Scrape out the bowl of the rind, and dispose of the membranes. Chop up the shrimp into similar size pieces. Stir together the shrimp, grapefruit, and mayonnaise. Place the combined ingredients back in the grapefruit-rind bowls, and serve. Voila!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just love saying that.