Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Late Summer Dinner Salad

Today was the quintessential summer day - 80+ degrees with clear blue skies and low humidity - which felt kind of weird since school's back in session and my white shorts have been put away for over a week now. But I decided to capitalize on today's feeling of summer by grilling our dinner and using some of our last warm-weather local produce.

This salad can serve as inspiration for you, depending upon where you live and which vegetables are at their peak. Today I used local tomatoes and corn and headed in a Greek direction with my flavors; I could have gone Tex-Mex with the addition of avocado and jalapeno in the salad and different seasoning on the shrimp, or even Italian by roasting the tomatoes with garlic and adding some shaved Parmesan cheese.

Late Summer Dinner Salad
Serves 4

1 1/3 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
marinade for shrimp (I used olive oil and Penzey's Greek Seasoning)

2 large ears local corn, husked and marinated (I used dried oregano, olive oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper)

lettuce of some sort - I used arugula

other vegetables and such - I used cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives

1. Place shrimp in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Set aside.

2. Place corn in a large ziplock bag or shallow glass baking dish. Pour marinade over the corn and let sit.

3. Go out and light the grill.

4. While the grill is heating up, make a salad. I made mine with baby arugula, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives. I also cut up a lemon because I had one one hand, but I never ended up using it.

5. Thread the shrimp on skewers. It doesn't matter how many shrimp are on the skewer; you will remove it before serving.

6. Grill the shrimp and corn over medium heat. The shrimp will take just a couple of minutes per side. Remove and set aside. The corn will take 8 - 10 minutes to get a good char.

7. If you have picky children in the house, put some hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill now to avoid any dinnertime meltdowns.

8. To compose the salad, place 4 or 5 grilled shrimp on top of the salad greens. Add the kernels from 1/2 an ear of grilled corn. Taste. You might want to drizzle with some oil or squirt with a squeeze of lemon, but it might be just perfect as is. Add some cheese if you must. Serve.

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