Pickled Shrimp and Watermelon
Pickled shrimp is a common picnic item in the south, but at Blue Jay Bistro in Littleton, N.C., chef Ashleigh Fleming combines it with watermelon for a composed dish.
She poaches shrimp and then marinates it overnight in a light pickling solution with fennel and other aromatics, citrus and olive oil.
Separately, she marinates watermelon slices in a simple syrup spiced with ginger, star anise and clove.
Then she grills the watermelon, combines it with the shrimp and tops it with basil, mint, cotija cheese and a jalapeño-lime-balsamic vinaigrette. She garnishes the dish with seasonal shoots.