This salad has been a bit of an evolution, and I'm expecting this to be the final stage. I started by just pairing grilled shrimp with traditional bruschetta, and then last year we took off the bread and just placed the shrimp on top of the tomato/cheese/basil mixture. This year we're bringing the bread back in the form of crispy croutons, and tossing the whole thing into a perfectly summery delicious dinner salad - YUM.
~serves 3 to 4 adults for dinner
- 1 baguette (day-old is fine!)
- olive oil
- dry Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups fresh local tomatoes (sungold or cherry if possible)
- 1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- two sprigs fresh basil
- 1 pound medium shrimp
- 1 large clove garlic
- 5 T balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
To make the croutons, cube the baguette into 1/2 inch pieces, drizzle with olive oil (about 1/4 cup), sprinkle with Italian seasoning and a bit of salt, and toss with your fingers to coat. Spread on a baking sheet and broil on high until nicely toasted, and set aside.
Cube your cheese, thinly slice the red onion, halve your tomatoes and julienne the basil - place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, add the finely minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil. Whisk to combine.
Preheat your grill or get your coals going, and open up your shrimp package. Drizzle the shrimp with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of seafood seasoning. Place on bamboo skewers and get ready to grill! Our shrimp required about 8 minutes to be perfectly cooked - these guys are a little smaller, so once they lose the raw-grey tint and start oranging up for you, flip and give them maybe 2 or 3 more minutes.
Slide your shrimp off the skewers and into your large salad bowl, add the croutons and toss to combine! This salad feeds about 4 adults for dinner, so if you're thinking you'll have leftovers I like to add the dressing to just the ingredients that I'm planning to eat right then to avoid soggy bread and weird cheese the next day. A few spoonfuls over each plate and a little toss is just right. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!