Shrimp Taco Salad

I actually haven’t cooked anything all week because our fridge has been so full of leftovers. We had several parties and outings last week and weekend and we managed to acquire leftovers at nearly every one. Our fridge has slowly been emptying out, and hopefully after tonight all the leftovers will finally be gone and I can actually start cooking again!

I made this salad several months ago for Cinco de Mayo. It has lots of separate components, but none of them are hard to make, and if you prepare them ahead of time you can easily assemble the salad in the few minutes it takes for the shrimp to cook. Honestly the most time consuming part of this recipe is chopping the tomatoes, onion and jalapeño for the pico de gallo. If you really wanted to save time, you could use store bought pico instead.

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I was initially a bit concerned that I might not like the dressing for the salad since it’s just lime juice and olive oil with a few spices, because I’m usually not a fan of anything sour. I was pleasantly surprised though when I tasted the finished dressing on the salad. The touch of honey in the dressing goes a long way in cutting the sourness of the lime, and the lime goes really well with the shrimp. The salad is topped with cotija cheese- a crumbly, slightly salty cheese that’s almost like a Mexican version of feta.

If you’re not a shrimp fan, this salad would be equally good with grilled chicken. Just coat the chicken with the same spice mixture and throw it on the grill. There’s enough protein in the salad from the black beans and the cheese that you could even leave the meat out entirely for a vegetarian meal.

Shrimp Taco Salad

From: The Chew, Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly
Serves 4

For the Pico de Gallo:
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
Juice from 1 lime

For the Dressing:
1 Tbsp honey
Juice from 2 limes
½ tsp cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
1/3 c. olive oil

For the Shrimp:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ c. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the Salad:
Corn tortilla chips
1 head romaine or leaf lettuce, chopped
1, 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, cut into chunks
¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds
½ c. cotija cheese, crumbled

  1. Combine the pico ingredients in a medium bowl and season generously with salt.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper and dried oregano. Drizzle in the olive oil whisking constantly to emulsify. Dress the romaine with some of the dressing and toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. Preheat a grill or non-stick skillet to medium-high. To prepare the shrimp, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.
  4. Grill the shrimp for 2 minutes per side, just until opaque, and remove to a plate.
  5. Assemble the salad: Put several tortilla chips onto the plate. Top with the dressed lettuce, black beans, avocado, pico de gallo and pumpkin seeds. Place several shrimp on top of each salad, finish with some crumbled cotija cheese.
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