Tempt summer-singed appetites with this breezy Mediterranean combo: a sensational salad and crisp crostini topped with shrimp and goat cheese from Dallas’ Sambuca (2618 Elm). Executive chef Willem De Froy says contrast is the key: “You pile the peppers, which are sweet, on top of the crostini with goat cheese, which is basically tart, and the combination is very interesting.” De Froy also mixes and matches flavors in the salad, with the sweet and sour elements of the vinaigrette offering a counterpoint to the cured taste of Parma ham. “When you bite down, you get those little explosions of flavor,” he says. “It’s pretty wonderful.”

Shrimp and Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini

18 jumbo shrimp
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon each fresh basil and thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
Dash of lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 baguette French bread
Virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

Boil, peel, and chill shrimp. Mix goat cheese, herbs, lemon juice, and salt and set aside. Cut 18 slices bread for crostini, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, and run under broiler until lightly browned. Spread crostini with herbed cheese and place a shrimp on each one.

Roasted Bell Peppers

6 large bell peppers (2 each green, yellow, and red)
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons capers
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

Roast peppers 2 inches under broiler, turning every 2 minutes until skins blister thoroughly. Cool, peel, and cut into thin strips. Mix with olive oil and salt and chill.

To serve, place roasted peppers in center of a platter, drizzle with more olive oil if desired, and sprinkle with capers and black pepper. Put crostini around edge of platter and garnish with parsley. Serves 6. Serve with Three-Lettuce Salad, recipe below.

Three-Lettuce Salad

1 head arugula (1/3 pound)
2 heads Belgian endive
1 head radicchio
12 thin slices Parma ham

Toss lettuces with vinaigrette (see recipe, below). To serve, place 2 slices ham on each plate and top with salad.

Sun-Dried-Cherry Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1 egg white
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ruby port
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ounces sun-dried cherries, chopped

Combine all ingredients except cherries in blender, thinning with more lemon juice or water as needed. Add cherries, blend slightly.