This is a delicious, easy, and healthy spicy barbecue shrimp salad. If you have a craving to dive into a salad that has that great just-off-the-grill flavor and packed with a spicy punch this salad will satisfy both cravings. Summer is a superb time to pull out the salad recipes and go to town with homemade dressing. Spring and Summer are the time of year when all freshest ingredients, fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables hit the market.
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This is a delightful salad of barbecued spicy cilantro garlic shrimp on a bed of mixed green, shitake mushrooms, and avocado with Mediterranean pesto vinaigrette.
A Word About Protein
First, it is important to find high-quality shrimp or prawns. Don't sacrifice quality when it comes to choosing your protein. While we focused on shrimp for this light and tasty salad, feel free to experiment with all types of protein. The salad is delicious alone but not recommended because it is so well balanced with the barbecued flavor imparted by the grilled protein. This salad can be converted to a Vegan salad easily with the addition of grilled tofu.
Marinate the Shrimp
Marinating the shrimp with the appropriate measure of ingredients and marinate length is critical. For this recipe, we opted for a spicy note of flavor and tangy overtones. This lends itself to a flavor that brings out the great essence of summer energy and brightness.
Spicy Cilantro Shrimp
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Jalapeno pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Ground Sea Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned, peeled, tails on
Combine all of the ingredients except the shrimp, in a bowl. Stir well to combine and taste for salt and pepper. Add in the shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for no more than 30 minutes, or the acid from the lime juice can actually start to cook the shrimp. Preheat grill to about 325ºF. Remove shrimp from refrigerator 5 minutes before cooking. We cook the shrimp in a grill wok and find that this provides a nice even barbecue for the protein. The cook time will depend on several factors such as the temperature of your grill, gas or charcoal, and other food and outdoor factors (temperature, humidity, wind, etc). The shrimp will be done when it has a pink translucent appearance. Other meat, such as chicken (165 F) or beef (135 F), will have a reference for internal temperatures.
For this particular salad, we used the freshest greens we found in season and paired very well with the shrimp:
- Red Leaf Lettuce
We also added additional fresh ingredients, adding to the nutrition and substance of this lovely hearty salad.
- Sliced Shitake Mushrooms
- Sliced Roma Tomato
- Sliced Avocado
Prepare sufficient quantity for the greens you wish to prepare.
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup white wine (or just use red wine vinegar) vinegar
- ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Basil Pesto Spread (I used Classico brand)
- 1 clove minced/crush garlic
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Ground Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a salad dressing shaker and mix thoroughly. Pour on greens and veggies just before adding shrimp, and mix into greens thoroughly.
Create the Shrimp Salad
Place the prepared salad dressing greens and veggies onto a large salad bowl or plate. Arrange spicy cilantro shrimp just to side and slightly on the edge of the salad. Top the salad with a few crumbles of Gorgonzola Cheese.