Friday, August 17, 2012

Foodie Friday 8.17.12

You might have noticed that to right under the title “On My Nightstand,” is a book called Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for All Seasons. It’s a beautiful book, one with tons of pictures of fabulous looking salads, and one that my sweetheart and I immediately flagged recipes in as soon as I received it. And you know what? I have yet to make a single recipe. Until tonight. Tonight my sweetheart gets home from a two week long trip, and to celebrate, I've decided to make one of the salads he flagged (yes, we marked our favorites with color-coded post-its). I also happen to have shrimp on hand, which is a bonus.

Spinach Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Peppers (serves 4)

1 lb. lg shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
8 oz. mixed mini bell peppers
8 c. baby spinach leaves
2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds
½ sm. Red onion, thinly sliced
Mediterranean Lemon Dressing (see below)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Lemon wedges
Pita crisps, pita bread, or Garlic Naan Crisps (below)

Combine the shrimp, olive oil and garlic in a bowl. Cover and chill 1 hr. or overnight. 

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Add peppers to the shrimp and stir to coat with olive oil. Grill the shrimp and peppers until browned and tender, turning once or twice, about 6 minutes. Transfer the shrimp and peppers to a plate.

In a very large bowl, combine the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion with the Mediterranean Lemon Dressing and toss to coat. Add the warm shrimp and peppers and toss lightly. Divide the salad among plates. Sprinkle the salads with feta cheese and oregano leaves. Garnish the salads with lemon wedges and Pita Crisps and serve.

(Let the record show that I will be using large grape tomatoes instead of cherry ones, as Whole Foods was out of cherry tomatoes. Let the chips fall where they may.)

Mediterranean Lemon Dressing (makes about 2/3 cup)

1 T. tahini
2 lg. garlic cloves, pressed
½ t. kosher salt
¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Combine the tahini, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in the lemon juive, then the oild oil.

Naan Garlic Crisps

3 T. butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 pcs. Naan or pita bread

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in the garlic and cilantro. Brush the breads evenly with the melted butter mixture. Cut the bread into 1 ½ -inch-thick slices and arrange on a heavy large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

Sounds delicious, don't you think? (Fingers crossed, I pull it off.)

UPDATE: I’m happy to report that all went well and that the salad on the whole was quite tasty. The roasted peppers were especially delicious. I halved the recipe, but forgot I was doing so when marinating the shrimp, so they were probably a little more garlicky than the author intended. (Luckily, we like garlic, so it wasn’t an issue!) I’m a little on the fence about the tahini in the dressing. I didn’t dislike it, but I might try omitting it next time for a dressing that's a little cleaner and brighter in flavor. I’m also thinking of making a variation that incorporates cannellini beans…

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