This non-mayonnaise-based shrimp salad is perfect for a balmy day, offering protection from heat spoilage that most shrimp salads are vulnerable to. The ingredients for the salad are simple: grilled shrimp, celery, garbanzo beans, avocado and butter (Bibb) lettuce. A light but flavorful dressing made with Tarragon and Sumac give the salad a great punch of flavor. This recipe calls for the salad to be served chilled, but it also works as a warm salad with the freshly grilled shrimp added right before serving along with the avocado and placed on top of the butter lettuce.
The key to the keeping the shrimp moist is to grill the shrimp with their shells on, for just 2 minutes per side, just until the shells are pink and the inside opaque. To prepare the shrimp, slice through the outside shell to butterfly the shrimp and devein. Try to keep the shells in tact as much as possible so the shrimp do not dry out on the grill. Layer the shrimp on two skewers to ease the grilling process.
Several strong flavors come together in this dressing, providing a great complement to the garbanzo beans, celery and shrimp. Tarragon offers an anise-like accent to the dressing, while the sumac – typically found in Middle-Eastern dishes – provides a tangy citrusy flavor. Chopped shallot, lemon juice and whole grain mustard round out the flavors, mixing well with the EVOO and red wine vinegar.
To make the salad, chop the celery lengthwise in half and then cross-wise in 1/4″ pieces and add to bowl along with the garbanzo beans. Add the dressing and let sit until the shrimp has been cooked. Then add the peeled, chopped shrimp and refrigerate for one to one and a half hours so the shrimp has chilled and the flavors meld. If you do serve the salad with the hot freshly grilled shrimp, refrigerate the beans, celery and dressing for 30 minutes prior to making the shrimp. To serve, add the diced avocado to the salad and mix through to coat with dressing. Place leaves of butter lettuce on top of two plates and spoon the salad on top of the lettuce and drizzle with remaining dressing.
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Tarragon-Sumac Dressing
1/2 pound prawns or shrimp with shells on – about 10-12 pieces
1-2 tablespoons EVOO
Salt and Pepper
1 cup garbanzo beans, canned or freshly cooked
¾ cup chopped celery, into ¼” pieces
½ Hass avocado
½ head of butter (Bibb) lettuce
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon grain mustard
Make dressing by combining the shallot, EVOO, vinegar, lemon juice, sumac and mustard. In a bowl, add the garbanzo beans and celery and add the dressing, mixing through. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, if serving the salad with warm, grilled shrimp. If serving the salad cold, then add the cooked, chopped shrimp to the bowl, mix through and refrigerate for 2 hours.
To grill the shrimp: Cut a slit into the back of the shrimp shell and butterfly and devein, keeping shells in tact so that the shrimp remains juicy when grilled. Thread the shrimp on two skewers. Brush the shrimp with EVOO and add salt and pepper. Grill on high heat for 2 minutes on each side, just so the shrimp is opaque and the shells are pink. Remove shrimp form the skewers, discard shells and chop the shrimp into large chunks, about 3 pieces per shrimp. Add shrimp to bowl with beans and celery and mix through. Refrigerate 1 – 1 ½ hours until the shrimp is chilled and the flavors meld.
When ready to serve, cut the avocado into 1/4″ pieces and add to the salad and mix through. Divide the lettuce into 2 and place the leaves on 2 separate plates and spoon the salad on top of the lettuce drizzling the remaining dressing onto the lettuce leaves.
To serve this salad with warm, freshly grilled shrimp. Prepare the dressing, beans, and celery and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then prepare shrimp and add it while hot along with the avocado and mix through so the dressing coats. Then place on top of the lettuce and drizzle the remaining dressing over the lettuce.