Will It Grill? Avocados and Shrimp Super Salad

2008-08-12 11:27
Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe

You may have seen some of the unusual things that blend on the Will it Blend? videos. Turns out, you get some pretty interesting results when you put things like footballs, marbles, Glow Sticks, and a new 3G iPhone into a blender (some blend, some not so much).

Inspired, I decided to start my own series of experiments -- Will it Grill?

I tried steak (yes), watermelon (yes), ice cream (nope), cereal (depends - Kashi yes, but Fruit Loops exploded into a multicolored fire ball), and avocados (yes).

The avocados were excellent. If you want to find out for yourself, here's how to grill an avocado:

1. Select a ripe yet somewhat firm avocado and slightly chill it.

2. Cut it in half and remove the pit. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Place it right away on a medium-high grill flesh-side down for about 60 seconds. Grill marks should be present, and the flesh should be lightly caramelized yet intact.

4. Eat immediately.

The results are much more gratifying than you might imagine: the avocado flesh becomes irresistibly creamy and caramelized and is infused with a wonderfully smoky flavor. You can eat it plain, drizzle with a little lime juice and cayenne pepper, or douse with some Tabasco sauce and chopped cilantro.

You could also add it to this spicy Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad, the third Satisfying Super Salad in my series. What's so super about this salad? It's high in protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, which means you'll stay full longer and eat less afterward.

With chewy shrimp, silky avocado and crunchy jicama, it's highly textured, which makes it satisfying to eat. And for the really good news: each serving is approximately 300 calories, has 13 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat (from good-for-you monounsaturated olive oil and avocado) and virtually no sodium. Learn more about why avocados are good for you.

This Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe Makes 4 servings

Salad:
16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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8 cups spicy mesclun mix
1/2 cup sliced jicama
1/2 cup mini heirloom or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 small avocados, halved and pitted
a bit of olive oil for brushing
the juice of half a lime for sprinkling
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
pinch of lime zest
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste

Preheat a grill outdoors or a grill pan for indoors.

Add ingredients from cleaned shrimp through cayenne pepper into either a large Ziploc bag or a plastic container, shaking well. Refrigerate for 20-30 while preparing the rest of the salad.

Add mesclun to a large bowl with diced jicama and halved cherry tomatoes.

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the shrimp from the marinade; place 4 shrimp per skewer. Grill for 2 minutes, flipping once, or until the meat is opaque and the outside is lightly charred.

When grilling, use ripe yet somewhat firm avocados. If they're too squishy, then they won't retain their shape well. Slice avocados in half and remove the pits. Brush avocado flesh with a little olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Since avocados oxidize, or turn brown quickly, don't slice them until you are ready to place them on the grill.) Place avocados flesh side down on a hot grill for 1 minute. Grill marks should be present, and the flesh should be slightly caramelized.

To grill indoors, preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub a thin coat of olive oil on the pan so the avocados won't stick. Place avocados flesh side down on the grill for 1 minute. Grill marks should be present, and the flesh should be slightly caramelized.

Pour the dressing on the salad (reserving a few spoonfuls to drizzle on top) and toss to coat well. Divide salad among 4 plates, and top each with 4 grilled shrimp and a grilled avocado half. Drizzle with the reserved dressing and serve immediately.

Written By Amy of Food Blogga blog.

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