If I’m going to start this thing, I really can’t imagine any better meal to start with than this one: it got Spouse to eat zucchini and got me eating shrimp. Both of these things were thought to be portents of the apocalypse before tonite, but I think we’re all safe now.
It’s a really great summer meal as there is almost no cooking to it, you blanch the zucchini and spend a few minutes hovering over the grill, that’s it! Most of the time is in prep, and it is well worth it.
Both recipes are modifications of some found in:
Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet by Padma Lakshmi.
Carrot and Cilantro Salad
This cooling salad is a near-perfect combination of tart and sweet, exactly what you need for the end of a hot day.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (Rice vinegar would have been interesting here too!)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil
- 2 pounds carrots, shredded coarsely
- 2 cups cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds, dry roasted in a pan until golden brown (Use a fairly low heat and keep an eye on them! Approx. 5 min.)
- 1 seeded jalapeño pepper, diced (Keep the seeds if you want a little more heat, I was hoping my 3 year old might just take a bite or two.)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon za’atar powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a salad bowl and toss with all the salad ingredients except the za’atar powder and sea salt. Save those for just before serving and sprinkle them atop the salad.
Chipotle Honey Butter
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Toss it all in a bowl and blend by hand or with a blender until smooth. Try not to eat it all before you hit the grill with your shrimp!
- 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large zucchini (Approx 1 pound) blanched for about five minutes in boiling water and drained
- 1/2 cup chipotle honey butter
- wooden skewers (Don’t forget to soak them in water for 30 minutes!)
Set your shrimp aside to marinate in the lime juice and salt, at least 20 minutes before you’re ready to grill.
Whip out your mandolin if you have one, and you know that you want any excuse to take it out if you do. Otherwise sharpen your best knife and be careful! Slice the zucchini into thin ribbons.
Melt the Chipotle honey butter on low heat.
Now onto the skewers! Pierce a zucchini slice about half an inch from the edge and fold over about an inch or so, piercing again. Keep going until you’ve got the whole thing on your skewer. Slide it on down to the end and then go for a shrimp. Alternate till you’ve got three or four slices of zucchini and three or four shrimp. Don’t crowd it!
Lay them flat on your hot grill and brush each side with the melted Chipotle honey butter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, being careful not to overcook. Continue basting them as they cook. Once they’re cooked all the way through toss a couple of skewers on a plate with your salad, squeeze a little lime juice over it and dig in!
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