Blackened Shrimp Salad

Blackened Shrimp Salad

Whenever I need a quick protein to serve for dinner, I always turn to one thing – blackening spice.  It is a staple ingredient in my family’s kitchens.  When I don’t know what to do with meat, the answer is always “blacken it.”  Blackening anything makes it just a little bit more flavorful and adds a mildly spicy kick.  It is not the kind of spicy that is overwhelming and forces you to drink more water in one sitting than a normal person would in one day, but rather the kind that can just barely feel in the back of your throat.

Croutons

You can use blackening spice on just about anything – chicken, steak, or even white fish.  But I think that this spice is perfect sprinkled over shrimp.  Toss that shrimp with some crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy homemade croutons, and a lemony dressing and you’ve got yourself one satisfying salad.  Eating this transports me to a cooler place, away from the summer heat – a place where air conditioners don’t make a funny noise and you don’t have to sleep with a fan blowing directly in your face.

Blackened Shrimp Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Blackened shrimp, romaine lettuce, and crunchy croutons tossed in a lemony vinaigrette.
Author:
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients
FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CROUTONS:
  • ½ loaf ciabatta bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
FOR THE SALAD:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons blackening spice
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 head Romaine lettuce, torn
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Directions
FOR THE DRESSING:
  1. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
FOR THE CROUTONS:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
FOR THE SALAD:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the blackening spice evenly over the shrimp and add to the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until just cooked through.
  2. Toss the lettuce with the red onion, cheese, and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Arrange the shrimp over the salad and serve.

This salad is colorful, simple, and easy on the eyes.  If this doesn’t remind you of summer, I don’t know what will.

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