Grilled Shrimp Salad with Bourbon Vanilla Vinaigrette is no ordinary summer salad; it's a healthy pop of color and flavor.What do you think of when you first look at this salad? For me, it screams one thing: summer. I was inspired to make this salad from a restaurant in our home state of Ohio when I was there on a work trip. I stopped for lunch at a family owned restaurant with a colleague, and I was immediately drawn to a salad on the menu that was served with beef tenderloin and blue cheese (some of my favorites). However, it was served with a delicious bourbon vanilla dressing, a taste that was so unique that it stayed in my mind for weeks.The day I ate this salad was a cold and rainy day. Although I couldn’t get it out of my mind, I felt that the original flavor combination was better suited for the fall and winter months. I did call Jackie immediately after lunch to share with her my how excited I was about discovering this dressing. She responded with: “Why don’t you recreate it?”. I swear she thinks I can magically create anything on command.
I did decide to take her advice. I was able to create a Bourbon Vanilla Vinaigrette that tasted great. It wasn’t exactly the same as I remembered, but I like it nonetheless. I did feel that should accompany a summer salad, chuck full of seasonally fresh ingredients. This is how our Grilled Shrimp Salad with Bourbon Vanilla Vinaigrette came togetherYou may have noticed that we don’t use a lot of shellfish on Superman Cooks. The reason is simple: I don’t like it. My partner in crime, however loves all kinds of shellfish and was thrilled that I chose to use shrimp for this creation. I added some quinoa for texture, and some beautiful watermelon radishes that we found at the farmer’s market. They added a beautiful pop of color, and a counter balance of zip that evened out the sweetness of the dressing. This is a salad that can be enjoyed all summer long; it can liven up an outdoor picnic or a family cookout.
A light and refreshing salad using fresh shrimp and summer flavors drizzled with a warm vanilla vinaigrette.
- 10 cooked shrimp
- 4 oz spring mix
- 1 C cooked quinoa
- 1 watermelon radish
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 C canola oil
- 1/4 C cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 white vinegar
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine agave nectar, garlic powder, vanilla extract, black pepper, salt, and cider vinegar.
- Slowly drizzle oil in while whisking.
- Toss Spring mix lightly in dressing and remove from bowl allowing dressing to drip off.
- Place in second bowl and add the quinoa and toss.
- Slice watermelon radishes into thin triangular pieces and toss into salad mix.
- Place on serving plate and top with 5 cooked shrimp and chopped macadamia nuts.
- Drizzle some of dressing over top and garnish with watermelon radishes.