Whole-meal salads are always great this time of year—and especially if you just may be looking for a healthy dose of greens and some spice to balance out the deep-fried delights and tidbits-on-a-stick you enjoyed at the fair—or anticipate enjoying in the coming week.
This recipe by cookbook author Nina Simonds, which she contributed to Real Food, is an easy, Mexican-influenced main-dish salad that is also extremely versatile: Substitute grilled or rotisserie chicken, pork chops, or flank steak for the shrimp, and you have a totally transformed meal.
Shrimp, Avocado, and Assorted Greens Over Black Beans with Spicy Salsa
Makes 6 Servings
1 lb. medium raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
4 slices fresh ginger about the size of a quarter,
unpeeled and smashed lightly with flat side of a knife
2 tbsp. rice wine, sake, or dry white wine
1⁄2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 15-oz. can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
12 6-inch flour tortillas
1 5-oz. bag assorted salad greens
3 c. frozen sweet corn, defrosted
2 ripe but firm avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes
11⁄2 jalapenÌƒos, trimmed and seeded
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 c. minced scallion greens
1 lb. (about 3 medium) vine-ripened tomatoes, stemmed and cut into sixths
4 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1⁄2 c. fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Using a sharp knife, halve shrimp lengthwise along the back, or leave whole if preferred. Place in a bowl, add ginger, rice wine, and sesame oil, and toss lightly.
For the spicy salsa: Drop jalapenÌƒos and garlic down feed tube of a food processor fitted with a steel blade with motor running, and chop finely. Add scallions and pulse to mix. Add tomatoes and pulse until coarsely chopped. Stir in lemon juice, cilantro, and salt. Pour into a serving bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add black beans and cook 15 seconds, pour into a colander, and drain.
Using same pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add shrimp and marinade, and cook 21⁄2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through. (If you prefer to sauteÌ shrimp, then warm black beans in small saucepan.)
Heat wrapped flour tortillas in microwave on high 11⁄2 minutes, until hot.
While tortillas are heating, arrange greens in a large, shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle corn, beans, and avocado over greens. Place shrimp in a mound in center. Let guests serve themselves by portioning some shrimp, corn, beans, avocado, and lettuce into a tortilla and spooning some salsa on top.
Cook’s note: As an alternative, serve a charred tomato dressing in place of the salsa. Cut 1 pound (about 3 medium) vine-ripened tomatoes into 1-inch slices and brush with olive oil. Broil 10 minutes each side. Drop 3 cloves garlic down feed tube of a food processor with motor running. Add tomatoes and 2 teaspoons toasted ground cumin, and purée. With motor running, add 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1⁄2 cup olive oil in a thin, steady stream. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Mix well and pour into a bowl to be served with salad.
Nutrition info (Per Serving): Calories 444 (112 From Fat); Fat 13g (Sat. 2g); Chol 77mg; Sodium 1259mg; Carb 65g; Fiber 13g; Protein 21g