I don’t know about you, but I hate to turn my oven on right now.
Our weathermen and women are predicting record highs of well over the hundreds starting tomorrow. Turning up your oven during these times is just not a pleasant thing as it creates a sweltry -hot kitchen which tends to make me a little cranky.
Because everyone likes Mama to be happy, we use our grill in the summer for practically everything possible.
Even the side burner comes in valuable for those nasty fry jobs like the fish Mr. Wonderful catches, fresh okra, and recently a new thing – fried plantains.
If you can fix an entire meal on the grill, that’s even better. There are no pots or pans to clean! Just crank the heat up to high and let the grill sit for a few minutes, then brush it down.
Last night’s dinner begged for something cool and wonderful. Healthy came to mind as well since I’ve been back to the gym for a few weeks.
I stopped at the store and picked up some jumbo shrimp and created this salad. I love to experiment with different combinations on my salads and we really enjoyed the flavors on this one.
Start by prepping your ingredients for the grill. For 3-4 salads you’ll need two ears of fresh sweet corn, two scallions ,and a little olive oil (to brush on the scallions).
Also, peel, de-vein and de-shell about five uncooked jumbo shrimp per person. I buy the shrimp at my market that has all of this done for me.
A de-veined shrimp should have a split cut down the back of it and this allows your marinade to seep in. Shrimp have an odd skin that pretty much prevents marinades from penetrating them, but it penetrates nicely on that cut.
Now, put your shrimp in a shallow dish and sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Also squeeze the juice of two limes over top and let marinade for no more than 30 minutes.
If you leave them longer, the lime juice will “cook” the shrimp and you don’t want that!
Take the shrimp and skewer them.
Please note that I am still adjusting to a new camera and please ignore the strange looking alien shrimp in the picture above.
Thank you for your patience.
Take the whole mess out to the grill and toss it all on. I would start the corn a few minutes before the onions and shrimp as it takes a little longer. I also just put the corn right onto the grill rack without the husks or foil. I like my corn to have little browned areas. It just says “grilled corn”.
Brush the onions with a little bit of the olive oil. Grill the onions a minute or two on each side or until they get some black markings and are wilting down a bit.
Grill the shrimp just until every piece has changed over from grayish-white to pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Here is a picture of what it should look like.
See? All the opaqueness is gone.
Grill the corn just a few minutes longer. You don’t want it really done and chewy for this recipe, but fresh and crunchy.
Remove everything to a platter and take it inside to assemble your salad.
Stand the corn upright on a platter or a bundt pan and shave off the nubs of corn.
Roughly chop the grilled scallions and remove the shrimp from the skewers and now we’re ready to layer our salad. I’m assuming I don’t have to show you every step along the way but I’ll tell you what I did.
Layer a small amount of spring mix lettuce in a single layer on the bottom of a dinner plate. Scatter about 2 tablespoons of canned and drained black beans over this and also some of your shaved fresh sweet corn. Also sprinkle some of your chopped grilled scallions over all. Slice up one avocado and layer a few pieces around the edges. Pile up your five shrimp in the center of the salad, scatter some crumbled Cotija cheese over top (found in the Mexican section of your market, if you can’t find it – use Feta).
and then …
Make your dressing.
I have been making most of our salad dressings homemade of late – they are SO easy and I like controlling what oil I use, and the amount of sodium and sugar (I substitute honey a lot for sugar) as well.
This dressing is delicious and really shouts SUMMER!
In a blender or food processor, add 3/4 cup of honey. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Add in 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, one clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves (or about 8-10 leaves and a dash of salt and pepper. Process all this with about 10 pulses and then turn on your food processor and slowly drizzle in about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Pour all your dressing into a bowl and drizzle some over each salad.
I seriously love this dressing…I love it over the shrimp and other ingredients, but you could just drink it with a straw if you wanted to.
I won’t tell anyone.
Try this salad during the blistering hot days of summer…it’s refreshing and full of summer flavor.