Saturday, June 21, 2014

Shrimp Salad with Grilled Polenta

Shrimp Salad with Grilled Polenta
This meal was one of the most exciting creations I have done so far this year, simply because it was the first time I was able to incorporate some fresh produce from my garden into the recipe.  Anyone with a backyard garden knows how exciting the first harvest is, no matter how small.  Initially I thought this up as a quick meal for small family in order to use up some cooked frozen shrimp I had in the freezer.  But the day before, my husband mentioned that a friend and his family were coming over to help him do some building work, so I quickly had to rethink how to stretch the meal to feed a few more people.  I am sure this recipe would taste even better with grilled shrimp, fresh garden tomatoes and peppers, so I definitely plan to try it again later this summer, although by then some of my fresh lettuces may all have been harvested.  Regardless, this time around the fresh herbs, spicy arugula and bitter kale were in perfect balance with the sweet shrimp and grilled polenta.  I had never tried grilling polenta before but my instincts were right and it turned out amazing.  Our guests literally said "I am going to have to try this at home" so I know it was a hit.  And it was actually a perfect meal for entertaining because the shrimp salad can be made a few hours ahead of time and then all you have to worry about is grilling the polenta and tossing a salad. And it tasted like summer on a plate. What better way to start off the season than with a simple, elegant and healthy meal that honestly tastes better outside when shared with friends and family.  Happy Summer everyone!!!

Shrimp Salad with Grilled Polenta

1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and chilled
store bought ingredients
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. adobo seasoning
1 tsp. chili powder
2 shallots, finely diced
juice of 3 limes, reserve 1 T.
1/3 C. chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, chives)
5 organic tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 long hot peppers, finely diced

18 oz. organic polenta
garden ingredients
organic canola oil

6 C. mixed organic greens (arugula, kale, romaine)
2 T. organic apple cider vinegar
1 T. reserved lime juice
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

Combine the shrimp, olive oil, adobo, chili powder, shallots, lime juice, fresh herbs, tomatoes and hot peppers in a large bowl and toss to coat evenly.  Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 hours.  Slice the polenta into 1/3 inch think slices and coat both sides with canola oil. (I poured the oil onto a plate and then placed the slices on the plate and flipped them around to coat them all evenly).  Grill the polenta over medium high heat for a couple of minutes per side, watching carefully so as not to burn them.  Toss the salad greens with the vinegar, reserved lime juice and olive oil and serve alongside the grilled polenta.  Top with a generous serving of the shrimp salad.

ready to mix together

grilled polenta
mixed green salad
dinner is served!

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