Chopped Mexican Quinoa Salad with Chili Lime Shrimp
Super delicious, super healthy and bursting with fresh, south of the border flavor, this entree salad is sure to please! Skip the shrimp and you have a perfect side for parties, picnics and potlucks!
Course: Main, Salad
Author: Chris Scheuer
3cupscooked quinoaI use this method for preparing perfect quinoa (3 cups is half of the recipe.)
For the dressing:
¼cupextra virgin olive oil
¼cupfresh lime juice
2medium cloves garlicfinely minced
1 ½teaspoonskosher salt
For the corn:
3medium ears fresh cornunhusked
For the shrimp:
2tablespoonssunflowercanola or other mild-flavored oil
2tablespoonsfresh lime juice
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
2tablespoonsfresh oreganofinely chopped
1 ½poundsrawpeeled and deveined shimp
For the salad:
2medium zucchinidiced in 1/4 inch pieces*
1medium white oniondiced in 1/4 inch pieces*
1medium red bell pepperdiced in 1/4 inch pieces*
1bunch scallionsthinly sliced
¼cuproughly chopped fresh oregano
1 15ouncecan black beansdrained and rinsed (optional)
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a medium-size glass jar. Cover tightly and shake until well combined. (If dressing is made ahead and refrigerated, oil may solidify slightly. If this happens just let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and it will liquify. You can also warm it in the microwave for 15 seconds to liquify.)
Prepare corn by placing the three ears in the microwave, unhusked. Cook on high power for 12 minutes. Remove from microwave with a clean kitchen towel or oven mitt to a cutting board. Holding the corn with the towel or oven mitt, cut off 2 inches at the bottom of each ear. Hold corn at the silk end and push the corn out of the husk. The corn comes out perfectly cooked and free of silk! Here's a video demonstration of the technique.
Cut corn from ears. Set aside. (I like to leave some of the corn in bigger pieces.)
About 30 minutes before grilling, combine all marinade ingredients in a zippered bag. Gently squeeze bag and tilt back and forth to combine ingredients. Add shrimp and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and drain well, discarding marinade.
Prepare a medium-high (about 450˚F) gas or charcoal grill fire.
Clean and oil grill surfaces. Sprinkle shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp on the first side for about 3 minutes, or until they begin to curl up, turn pink and look charred here and there on the surface facing the grill. Flip shrimp to other side and grill for another 2-3 minutes or until done. Don't overcook or shrimp will be tough and dry.
For the salad, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to combine. Drizzle lightly with dressing and stir again. Top with shrimp. Pass extra dressing at the table.
*There are LOTS of diced veggies in this salad. Notice how they're all quite perfect and uniform in size? You might be thinking that I'm very skilled and precise with my knives. Truth be told, I'm actually a bit lazy in the kitchen so I have a secret weapon to make quick work of dicing zucchini, peppers, onions, carrots, eggplant, cabbage, celery, apples, pears - just about any vegetable and lots of fruits. It's this Vidalia Chop Wizard and I use it all the time for soups, salads and desserts. It comes with two different sized dicing inserts for perfect and quick dicing and chopping. I also love that the catch container doubles as a measuring cup so you can see exactly how much you've diced or chopped. I just throw it in the dishwasher when I'm done and it's ready for my next cooking extravaganza.