Saturday, July 28, 2012

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Corn and Avocado

I wasn't actually expecting much from this salad. So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be amazing. Obviously I wouldn't have made it if I didn't think it would be good, but honestly, I tried it out of guilt. I've made quite a few good meals this Summer but not a lot have featured vegetables. So before I ran out to buy groceries Saturday morning I went on to Epicurious looking for a good Summer salad. I found one.

My version of this salad uses frozen shrimp that were grill-ready from the grocery store, so all I had to do was make the salad dressing (orange juice/zest, white wine vinegar, chives and olive oil) and cut up the avocado. And clean my greens. (I didn't bother with the onions.) David grilled the shrimp and corn (along with some ciabatta bread brushed with olive oil) while I did the rest. Once the shrimp, corn and bread came off the grill I tossed it all together and dinner was served. I got a fuzzy shot that couldn't be less staged or styled:

You can't even tell there's avocado in there, but trust me, there is. This is one of those dishes that you might wonder about, thinking to yourself: I like corn and I like shrimp and I like avocado but how can it all possibly go together? Especially when it's drizzled in orange juice? Don't doubt it. This salad works and it works deliciously. 

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Corn and Avocado from Epicurious

  • 6 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil* (optional)

  • 1 10-ounce bag red pearl onions

  • Metal skewers
  • 2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 3 large ears of corn, husked
  • 1 ciabatta bread or pain rustique, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika (Pimentn de la Vera)**

  • 12 cups mâche (about 7 ounces)
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

For dressing:
Whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in olive oil, then truffle oil, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

For salad:
Bring small saucepan of water to boil. Add pearl onions and boil 3 minutes. Drain; cool onions slightly. Peel onions, leaving root ends intact.
Do ahead: Dressing and onions can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover separately and let stand at room temperature.
Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Thread onions on skewers; thread shrimp on separate skewers. Place onion skewers, shrimp skewers, corn, and bread slices on 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Brush onions, shrimp, corn, and bread with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shrimp on both sides with smoked paprika. Grill onions and corn until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side; grill bread slices until browned; and grill shrimp until cooked through, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.
Transfer vegetables, shrimp, and bread to work surface. Cut corn kernels off cobs; place corn kernels in very large bowl. Remove shrimp and onions from skewers and add to bowl. Add mâche and avocados to bowl. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to large rimmed platter and serve with bread.

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