The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

July 27, 2013

COOKING WITH SIMON: Cool & Simple Main Course Salads

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — It’s hard for me to focus on cooking lately because all I can think about is picking grapes. This week I have been fast and furious trying to get all of the grapes off the vines and get them inside to start making wine. You have to measure the acidity and the sugar levels in the grapes and when they come to a certain cross point that is when you have to start picking – and pick fast!

When I’ve had a spare moment to glance at the news I noticed the long awaited and overdue royal baby from my homeland finally arrived. Congratulations to the young royals as they move the monarchy into a new era and generation. And after bringing in all these grapes this week I feel like my royal baby has finally arrived. Only mine took three years to be born. Talk about long-awaited arrivals!

Now, as I type, I stare down at my grape juice stained hands that are a deep shade of purple and blue.

So back to dinner. Whatever I make. It’s got to be quick, satisfying and keep the kitchen cool. After sweating outside, I don’t want to go inside and sweat in the kitchen.

Main-course salads are great this time of year and there is plenty of Texas gulf coast shrimp available at area grocery stores. Keep it simple, keep it local and make it delicious.

Hope to see you out at the grape stomp on Saturday at Sabor a Pasion. We’ll be there from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. with live music and grape stomping all day. The Lucille Ball stomp look-a-like contest will be at 4:30 p.m. and there will be barbecue, dessert, t-shirts and lots of fun. Bring a chair and a bottle of wine – because mine’s not ready – and enjoy the vineyard atmosphere. Check for details and directions before you come out. Or go to FACEBOOK and search and like Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro.


12 shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 lime, juice and zest

1/4 teaspoon fresh crushed ginger

generous pinch of salt and black pepper

Chili flakes, to taste

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons butter

4 cup mix of romaine lettuce and leafy greens

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 cup parmesan, grated or shaved with a peeler

Place shrimp in bowl and add lemon & lime, juice and zest, along with ginger, salt and pepper, chili flakes, garlic and soy sauce. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Melt butter in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat until curled and cooked through. Divide salad mix, tomatoes and parmesan between two plates and top with the shrimp. Add your favorite dressing and enjoy. Serves 2.


Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.