Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette (Wendy Goodfriend)

I’ll admit it...I’m not a big fan of shrimp. I think I just ate way too much of it when I was a kid (when it was one of my favorite foods). Also, I don’t think it’s prepared well much of the time: underflavored, overcooked, undercooked, mushy and watery, you get the idea.

Before I turn you completely off of shrimp, I do love it when it’s made well. Throw it on the grill (or a stovetop grill pan) and add a zingy sweet and spicy vinaigrette, and I’m on board. Especially if I can convince someone else to clean the shrimp!

This particular salad has completely won me over. Not only is it super flavorful, but it’s also super healthy. Baby greens, ideally sweeter greens like mache or baby spinach, are topped with a tangle of fresh zucchini “noodles” and plenty of plump, perfectly cooked shrimp along with a Thai-style vinaigrette made with fresh herbs, lime, and sweet chili sauce.

Creating zucchini “noodles” with a julienne peeler.
Creating zucchini “noodles” with a julienne peeler. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    To create the zucchini “noodles” there are a whole range of tools you can use (to name a few):
  • julienne peeler
  • spiralizer
  • vegetable peeler (for ribbons)
  • mandolin (for ribbons)

I like to leave my zucchini unpeeled because there are more nutrients in the peel, but if you want the zucchini to more closely resemble real noodles, you can peel it.

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette (Wendy Goodfriend)

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette

Makes 4 to 6 servings

    Ingredients:

    For the Salad

  • 24 large shrimp, peeled, tails left on
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 6 cups baby salad greens
    For the Vinaigrette
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped Thai or regular basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

    Instructions:
  1. If using a gas or charcoal grill, soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes (or use metal skewers).
  2. To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, chili sauce, basil and cilantro. Slowly drizzle in the oil, while whisking, until the vinaigrette is well combined. Set aside.
  3. Divide the salad greens between 4 to 6 plates. Use a julienne peeler or spiral vegetable cutter to create zucchini “noodles,” or use a vegetable peeler to create zucchini ribbons. Divide between the salads. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium heat. Or, heat a stovetop grill.
  5. (If using the outdoor grill, thread the shrimp onto the skewers, 3 shrimp to a kebab.) Brush the grill with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and lime juice. Grill, turning once, until nicely charred, about 3 minutes.
  6. Brush the shrimp with the vinaigrette. Drizzle some vinaigrette over each salad, and top with the grilled shrimp. Serve with more vinaigrette on the side.
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles, Baby Greens, and Spicy Thai Basil Vinaigrette (Wendy Goodfriend)

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