One of my favorite moments of the season is upon us, as the horseradish is flowering. This is a fleeting offering, usually about two weeks at most. To me, this is when the horseradish shows itself most as being a part of the brassica family, think broccoli, cauliflower, kales, mustards, etc.
You can bet I will have remoulade, Louisiana remoulade, a few times while those horseradish flowers are rolling, visually elevating a classic, somewhat pedestrian looking, but so delicious, dish. Usually an appetizer, but I think also a nice main, especially on a hot day.
- 2# relatively large raw shrimp
- 1/4 cup Zatarain’s crab boil, if you can find it.
- 2 sliced lemon
- 1T mustard seed
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Place 2 quarts of water on the stove in a medium pot, adding either the crab boil, or the seasonings. Salt the water generously. When at a full rolling boil, add the shrimp, peels still on, cover and set the pan aside for 10 minutes. Drain, cool in a bowl of ice water, peel and devein, usually leaving the tails on.
For the Remoulade
- 2-3 inch chunk of horseradish root, or a 6 ounce jar of prepared horseradish-NOT HORSERADISH SAUCE
- 1-2 green garlic shoots
- 3 white spring onions
- 2-3 ribs of celery
- 1/4 cup oil of your choice-I use coconut these days
- Juice of half a lemon, cut the other half for small squeezable plate garnishes
- 1 Tablespoon preferably Creole mustard, but any whole grain mustard will do
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Get your blender cup out. Grate the horseradish and place in the blender. If you want your sauce to be closer to white, use only the whites of the onion and garlic, reserving the green tops of the onion for sliced garnish over the dish. If you don’t have strong feelings about it becoming green, then use the tops as well. Roughly cut through the garlic, onion and celery, adding to the blender as you go. Same with oil, lemon, mustard, cayenne and start with about a half teaspoon of salt. Blend thoroughly, check seasoning and consistency. Your sauce should be thick but pourable.
Classic is iceberg or romaine lettuce, but I left that in the dust years ago. I use a nice variety of mixed greens, usually, adding to complexity of flavor and texture, as well as presentation.
If using head lettuce or romaine, slice into narrow strips, wash, drain well. Whatever the case with your greens, get your serving platter and spread out a good layer. There is not a dressing for this, so I usually sprinkle a nice salt over the greens. I’m partial to the flaky stuff, but any salt will work.
Place the shrimp with some intention, not a pile, over the greens, and pour or spoon the remoulade in lines, over the greens and shrimp. We are not making a lagoon here, and a bit more remoulade can be on the table for anyone to add as they wish. Top with a few small, or chopped horseradish leaves, and the flowers, of course. Saltines are the classic accompaniment for Shrimp Remoulade, but I find I prefer to tear up and toast a nice loaf of French or Ciabatta.