Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Harissa Dressing

March 25, 2015

Guess what, readers? My oven is still broken. When the appliance repairman arrived to exorcise the Home Appliance Poltergeist, he had the sad job of informing me that my big-ass double oven and 6-burner range was no longer being made. At all. Anywhere.


He called around and was able to find ONE existing oven/range in Dallas, Texas and could therefore get the part he needed to replace (the latch that locks the oven door for cleaning) for the tidy sum of 800 dollars.

800 bucks for a latch? What the Hell, man?

I sputtered and stewed and thought, “Seven kinds of owl shit!” Then, I told him that maybe, since the damn thing was obsolete now, maybe we’d just do better to replace it, because what’s going to happen the next time it breaks?

Then I researched the cost of replacing my big-ass oven/range.

$9,500. And that’s the cheap model.

Well, then.

800 bucks didn’t seem so bad anymore.

On Monday, appliance dude drove over with the new part and tinkered around with my oven and discovered that…it wasn’t the right part. They’d transposed a serial number when he was ordering the part, and this one wasn’t viable. So he got to call around again, searching for a different replacement part and strangely, he found one lone part in…Dallas, Texas.

Apparently, Dallas, Texas is where kitchen appliances go to die.

So, I’m operating on week three of ovenless existence.

As shitty as my luck’s been with appliances, my luck with the weather has been aces. We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather, which is good, because it means that we can exist on things like salads and paninis without feeling too grumpy about it.

I love main dish salads when the weather is warm, especially when they include things other than just lettuce and protein. I like salads with personality; why settle for lettuce when you can tuck in some other little goodies, like pasta or beans or toasted nuts?

I also crave salads with lots of flavor, and when I saw this recipe, I knew it would fit the bill because of the key ingredient in the salad dressing–harissa.

You guys do have harissa in your life, right?


Seriously, if you don’t have harissa in your life, go online now and order yourself some, because it will change your life.

Okay, well, maybe not your life but it will spice up your cooking in a lovely way. Harissa is a spice paste from North Africa/Tunisia and it has a smoky, complex flavor a and a pleasant spicy kick, and it is delicious rubbed on any kind of meat about to hit the grill.

I get my harissa from Whole Foods, but you can order it online from a variety of places. Personally, I like Zingerman’s, but it’s not hard to find elsewhere.

I’d never used harissa in salad dressing, but I knew I liked the stuff, so why not? So I did, and this salad made a lovely weekend lunch paired with some crusty bread and a cold beverage to balance the slightly spicy kick of the dressing.

A word about spice: Harissa varies widely from brand to brand as far as spiciness, so make sure you taste your harissa and adjust accordingly. If it’s fiery, use the lesser proportions called for here. No need to blow your head off! Unless, of course, you like things that way.

We are about to run out of luck with our weather–rain and snow is coming our way as I write this, so I may have to bust out the slow cooker again. Apparently, winter isn’t quite done with us yet.

I’d be bummed about that, but I’m not, because guess what? Something AWESOME happened to me a few weeks ago that made me positive that I could endure the end of winter’s wrath without harm.

I received a package in the mail, sent by a wonderful and long-time reader of this blog, and in the package was the most magnificent thing ever.

Readers, I am now the proud owner of…

My own voodoo doll.

A voodoo doll of winter.

A voodoo doll of winter in the effigy of Fuck You Linda.


You might want to pop back over to the post where I describe Fuck You Linda right now, just so you can see how masterful the craftsmanship is on this thing, because this reader freaking nailed it. She rendered her perfectly, right down to the green of her sweatsuit and the frizz of her fiery hair and gaping pie-hole and her gi-normous butt.

I love her. And of course, I stuck the pin in that huge ass first.


Next year’s winter had better watch out, because I’ve got weapons now. Thank you, Leslie, for giving me a reason to smile through winter.



Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Harissa Dressing

serves 4 to 6

adapted from Sunset: Fast and Fresh magazine


3 cups arugula or mixed greens

2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 celery stalk, sliced thinly

1/2 cup seeded chopped cucumber

1 chopped shallot

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked

3 to 4 tablespoons harissa

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large minced garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper


Put arugula, beans, celery, parsley and shrimp in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Serve the dressing on the side or toss to coat.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

C. Troubadour March 25, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Hi, FYL! (May she never actually find out she’s been turned into a voodoo doll lest she come for revenge … !)

Regarding where kitchen appliances go to die — I have lived in Dallas. Apparently, they forgot to indicate the kitchen appliance graveyard when they made this map:

But I’m guessing it’s somewhere around the neighborhood marked “INDUSTRIAL THINGS.”



Tiffany March 28, 2015 at 6:28 am

Love your present. $9500?!?! Holy shit. Crockpot it is!


elizabeth April 2, 2015 at 7:40 am

I was in need of a fast lunch yesterday and this definitely inspired it after I found a can of cannelinis on the shelf. I didn’t have any seafood on hand, but I made a nice little bean and couscous salad.

Those oven repair costs are ridiculous. Ridiculous!


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