I enjoy cooking because it is fun and this Grilled Romaine BLT Salad With Shrimp is so fun to make!
I find grilling fun as well.
Every once in a while, I get inspired to try something different or nontraditional on the grill.
It’s not like I go out of my to way to try grilling things that aren’t fond of the fire, it’s more of a why-not-throw-it-on-the-grill attitude that inspires me to try new things.
Today, I have some really nice shrimp from Costco.
One of the things I like about Costco shrimp is that they do a pretty good job of splitting the back shell and removing the vein.
This drastically cuts down on prep time and is often a good motivation for me to buy them. They also inspire me to make other dishes like shrimp and grits.
Lately, I have been conspiring over the theory that grilled food just tastes better when it’s cooked on a stick.
My research is a work in progress, so the plan was to skewer up some shrimp before cooking them on the grill.
What is a simple marinade for grilling shrimp?
I have found that the most versatile marinade and seasoning for grilling is Italian salad dressing. After your shrimp are skewered, they get a healthy slather of Italian salad dressing while the grill heats up.
My attention shifted to preparing a salad to go with the shrimp.
I had a few heads of crisp romaine lettuce with thoughts of doing a nice, wedge-style salad.
To prep them, I cut the romaine in half and I remove the bitter and fairly inedible stem from the bottom before I gave the leaves a good wash. Searching the fridge for other salad items, I noticed a few random acts of raw bacon hiding near the crisper and thought they would make a nice addition. Finding a spot on the grill where the bacon could roast indirectly, I rendered it down on a cast iron skillet.
The bacon then went directly on the grilling grate to finish after it firmed up. It roasted slowly. If you have a second level on your grill for toasting buns, that would work well for this, but keep a careful eye on it because bacon has a tendency to go from zero to carbon very rapidly on a grill if left unattended. With the bacon cooking away, it was time to grill off the shrimp. I have found that skewered shrimp usually take about three minutes per side to cook but generally you can tell when they are done because of the deep pink color they develop along with a loss of translucency. The smell of the shrimp that were bathed in the Italian elixir was sublime, evoking nostril nostalgia of summer street food and fun times. The combination of the cooking shrimp and bacon made my mouth water and gave me an idea. Why not grill the romaine lettuce the way I had the other ingredients, adding a new layer of color and flavor to the otherwise chilled salad? The lettuce was slathered in Italian salad dressing and it grilled for about two minutes until it began smelling as sublime as the shrimp, taking on a darkened charred color in spots. The grilled bacon was sprinkled on top of the wilted lettuce with some grape tomatoes cut in half and a few crumbles of Cabot cheddar cheese. A wide variety of flavors, textures, and temperatures prevailed. Tasting the grilled shrimp salad, I knew it was one I would make again – partially because it tasted good, but mostly because I had fun doing it. If you like this dish you will love this easy rotisserie chicken salad! Let me know in the comments if you try either one.
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