Makes 2 (4-piece) servings Prep Time: 15 minutes
from The South Beach Diet&rag; Parties & Holidays Cookbook.

Light and elegant, this simple starter is sure to impress your special dining partner. The flavorful liquid from the artichoke hearts is the secret ingredient here.

1 1/4 cups water
10 whole peppercorns
1 (1/4-inch-thick) lemon slice
1 bay leaf
8 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 marinated artichoke heart quarters, roughly chopped, plus
1 teaspoon of the liquid
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 medium (8-inch) cucumbers

Bring water, peppercorns, lemon slice, and bay leaf to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; simmer for 1 minute. Add shrimp, cover pan, and remove pan from heat. Let shrimp sit in poaching liquid until opaque and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board and roughly chop.

Place shrimp in a medium bowl; add artichoke hearts and the 1 teaspoon liquid, lemon juice, and basil; stir to combine. Using a sharp knife, trim ends of cucumbers. Cut each cucumber crosswise into 4 pieces, each about 2 inches long. Cut straight sides down each piece to square it, leaving the peel intact just at the corners.

Using a melon baller, cut a small cup, about 1 inch deep, into each cucumber piece. Fill each cup with 2 tablespoons of shrimp mixture and serve.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving:
80 calories
2.5 g fat
0 g saturated fat
7 g protein
9 g carbohydrate
3 g fiber
160 mg sodium

MAKE-AHEAD: Cucumbers can be cut, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated up to 8 hours in advance. Shrimp mixture can also be prepared up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated in a covered container; bring to room temperature and fill cups just before serving.