Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Cocktail Sauce

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pounds very large (fewer than 15 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large Florida (not Haas) avocado
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Fine sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cocktail sauce, bottled or homemade
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into thin ribbons

Heat 8 cups of water in a large saucepan or pot. Cut a 6-inch or so square of cheesecloth. Place the bay leaves, lemon, parsley, and peppercorns over the center. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth over the seasonings and tie securely with kitchen twine. Drop the seasonings into the water, bring to a boil and cook 15 minutes. Fill a bowl halfway with ice water and set near the sink.

Add the shrimp to the pot and boil until pink and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and plunge the shrimp into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and chill until ready to serve.
Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Cut the avocado into 1-inch cubes. Toss the avocado and lime juice together in a small bowl to prevent darkening. Drizzle the olive oil over the avocado and toss gently. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cilantro.

Toss the avocado with the chilled shrimp, dot with the cocktail sauce to taste, and toss again.

To serve, divide the lettuce among 6 serving plates. Top with shrimp and avocado. Spoon up whatever dressing remains in the bowl and drizzle it over the salad.

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