We are still in the throws of summer which means lots of fresh eats! I can't think of anything better during these hot days than something like this Summer Shrimp Salad. It is fresh and light and requires minimal cooking. Perfect as a lunch, a starter or a side dish to a summer barbecue.
This was one of those things I made recently with zero expectations. In fact, I had no clue what I was making until it started coming together. And it turned out so great, I had to turn it into a recipe to share with you all. I love when that happens. I have talked about that so many times. How quite often it is the unexpected things that turn out the best for me in the kitchen. Sometimes I have things planned to the tee and spend hours slaving away at it only for it to turn out to be a great big giant flop. So, this was pleasant surprise.
I am always on the hunt for new salads to make in the summer. With the heat we have been suffering around these parts, it isn't always easy to cook or even turn on the barbecue. We had temperatures hitting 40 c this past week and that wasn't fun for anyone. Not only do I not have the ability to cook in temperatures like that, I just can't eat. Well, unless it's ice cream...ha! Baskin Robbins has been my best friend lately.
All salad talk and summer food aside for a second, I have to say I am looking forward to warming food again. It always hits me by early to mid August where I have had enough of salads and that barbecue on the patio. I am longing to roast a chicken or make a stew. The time will come, I know, but for now we have a few months of heat and I am staying positive with thoughts of autumnal eats on the horizon. The distant horizon that is.
Let's talk a little about what to dress this salad with. When you look at the recipe below, you will notice I didn't add a dressing. The reason is because I think it can carry so many flavours, so I thought I could add those here.
I served it with a Lemon Vinaigrette. That is probably one of my favourite salad dressings and I use it more than I use anything else. You can click here for the recipe to that dressing.
Another great alternative for this salad would be a Honey Mustard Dressing. Okay, I don't have a recipe on the blog for that one but here is how I do it: 2 tablespoons olive oil ,2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon mustard, salt and pepper. Combine the ingredients and whisk or shake.
If neither of these suit you, just use straight oil and vinegar or use your favourite dressing, Although I probably wouldn't recommend a creamy dressing as it will take away from the freshness.
About the salad:
Honestly, this is the easiest salad. It might look a bit on the fancy side, but it's just a bunch of ingredients put on a plate. Simple!
The shrimp and the tomatoes for the salad can be cooked in advance and then put on the salad when you are ready to serve it. In fact, I would say it is better if the tomatoes and the shrimp have cooled completely before putting the salad together.
You can use whatever type of salad leaves you like. I bought a bag of those mixed variety baby leaves. I find they not only look nice but they have a delicate flavour that suites this type of salad.
I used a Spanish cured cheese but you can use whatever cheese you have or prefer. I think parmesan would also work quite well.
The figs are a must, so don't skip them. My husband thought it was a strange addition until he tasted it and said it tasted great!
And as for the dressing, refer to the notes above or just dress it what you like best.
Happy cooking friends and keep enjoying summer!
Summer Shrimp Salad
Serves 4 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 15 minutes
1/2 lb/250 grams of raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned
A big bowl of baby leaf lettuce
1 Pint cherry tomatoes
1 Avocado, halved and sliced
3 Figs, thinly sliced
2 oz/60 grams of a hard cured cheese cut into shavings (like parmesan or a Spanish cured cheese)
Small bunch fresh chopped parsley, finely chopped
Juice of one lime
2 Cloves garlic crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 Teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, lime juice, salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the cherry tomatoes in a small baking tin and drizzle over one tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Heat a large skillet over high heat for about a minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes until cooked through and pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
On a large salad plate, arrange the lettuce and top with avocados, figs, cherry tomatoes, cheese and shrimp. Top off with a little parsley and serve with salad dressing of your choice.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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