Sunday, April 19, 2009
Grilling and salad, what better combination could there be for summer? Serve this salad as a main dish, or throw a steak on the grill when you're done cooking the shrimp and corn, and serve it as a side. Either way, it's a treat!
This recipe comes from Chef Laurent Tourondale of BLT Restaurants in New York City and is one of my favorite summer salads.
PICKLED RED ONION
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
1 teaspoon hot pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
7 ears of corn, shucked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Kirby cucumbers, diced
2 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Pea shoots, for garnish (optional)
1. PICKLE THE ONION: In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil with the salt, sugar and pepper. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the onion slices, and let the onion pickle stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SALAD: Light a grill. In a large bowl, mix the Old Bay, Cajun spice, smoked paprika, rosemary, cayenne and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss well. Grill the shrimp over high heat, turning once, until the shrimp are lightly charred and white throughout, about 2 minutes.
3. Rub the corn with the butter and season with salt and black pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until the kernels are charred and tender, about 10 minutes. Let the ears cool slightly.
4. Using a serrated knife, cut the kernels from the ears over a large bowl. Toss the corn with the cucumbers, dates, cilantro, lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Drain the pickled onion strips and add them to the salad. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Transfer to a platter, top with the grilled shrimp, garnish with the pea shoots and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The pickled onion can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The dressed salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours; serve lightly chilled.
NOTE: There is too much pickled onion in this recipe for my taste. I'd recommend about half the amount called for. The onions are delicious so, if you make the full amount, add them judiciously until they balance and then save the remaining for another use.
Don't you just love summer salads?!