Sunday is usually a big day around here for the kids and I. We make snacks for the week, perhaps some exciting dessert or side dish, and we take a billion photos … but yesterday, with the soaring temps and humidity, we didn’t cook at all, save a quick, easy new coleslaw recipe that will appear on AmazingMoms later this month.
Still, even though I was totally not cooking yesterday, Paige pulled her pink stool up to the counter at lunchtime and said, “I help you, Mommy!” It wasn’t a question, it was a demand from a little girl who doesn’t care if her cooking job is measuring, mixing or just arranging the clean berries on a plate (yesterday’s job!). Sometimes, cooking with kids is just about being in the kitchen together, even if the result is an uncomplicated, easy lunch.
In any case, I don’t have an inspired Cooking with Kids-themed recipe today. But I do have this fabulous salad with an even more fabulous dressing. Like yesterday’s lunch, it’s uncomplicated but perfect.
It’s greens, half an avocado and some wonderful grilled shrimp. Drizzled with a fabulous homemade dressing that’s sweet and tangy all at once, it’s perfect. I found the dressing in the latest issue of Body + Soul. It will be eaten on repeat this summer — it’s fresh, light flavors are perfect for hot and humid days like this weekend … and even today when rain threatened all day.
For the shrimp, I bought raw, shell-on shrimp at Trader Joe’s that came butterfly-cut (just defrost before using). But you can prepare them at home as well (here’s an easy video tutorial from a YouTube chef, if you want to do-it-yourself).
Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Asian Vinaigrette Recipe
Easy Grilled Shrimp
- 1 lb shell-on , deveined butterfly-cut shrimp
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- 8 cups salad greens , in bite size pieces
- 2 avocados , sliced
- 1/2 cup Asian Vinaigrette (see below)
Asian Vinaigrette (recipe adapted very slightly from Body + Soul, May 2010)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Heat your grill to its medium temperature setting.
- Place the butterfly-cut shrimp flesh down on the grill. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and let cook for 5-6 minutes, until flesh closest to the flame is mostly opaque.
- Flip the shrimp and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cover the grill again and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until cooked through. The shrimp should pull slightly away from the shell. (Hint: Remove the shell before eating.)
- Divide the greens among four salad bowls. Arrange 1/4 of the shrimp on top, followed by 1/2 an avocado each.
- Next, make the vinaigrette: Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, ground ginger and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Whisk together until combined. Drizzle a thin stream of oil in, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate and use within a week. This yields about 1 cup, half of which you'll use for this salad.
- Drizzle each salad with 2 tbsp Asian Vinaigrette.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.