Southwest Shrimp and Grits Salad is a little twist on a classic dish. Grilled cajun shrimp and discs of jalapeno grits on a bed of greens with a touch of smokey flavour. Bonus…this can be made gluten free!!
I don’t know about you, but during grilling season I cook as many meals as possible on the bbq (well really I make hubby to do it). Here in Canada, our grilling season is not long enough as far as I’m concerned. Weekends are for grilling, and from breakfast to dessert our bbq gets a workout.
When the nice folks at Olive Tasting Room sent me a couple of bottles of products to try, I knew right away what dish I was going to make. This Southwest Shrimp and Grits Salad perfectly showcases the smokey Chipotle Olive Oil and the Jalapeno Lime White Balsamic Vinegar they sent my way.
If you have never shopped there, you don’t know what you are missing. Seriously my husband and I can spend a good hour or more just sampling all the wonderful products. There are more oils and vinegars than you have seen, along with other great products and accessories. Our trip always adds to our great collection, and the endless ways to use them.
You can sample as much as you like, and the knowledgeable staff always have great recommendations on pairings too. There also is an online store, which is great since I can never run out of Bacon Olive Oil, the must have ingredient in my Maple Bacon Popcorn.
This salad is all about bold flavours, great textures, and really easy too. I happen to love cornmeal, so making grits is an easy and tasty addition to a meal around here. For these grits, I wanted to finish them off on the grill. I cooked them in a pot on the stovetop. When they were done I added some spicy garlic pepper, smoked cheddar cheese and diced fresh jalapeno. Then I made a log and wrapped it in plastic, and put it in the fridge overnight to chill. You don’t have to make this the day ahead, but do give it a good 4 hours or so in the fridge. (For gluten free be sure to use gluten free grits)
Clean your shrimp and pat dry. Mix some of the Chipotle Olive Oil with a bit of smoked paprika, and brush over the shrimp. Place shrimp in the fridge and marinate for about 30 minutes.
For the dressing combine some extra virgin olive oil, Jalapeno Lime White Balsamic Vinegar and agave nectar. Set aside till ready to use.
Take your grits out of the fridge, remove the plastic, and cut into thick discs (about 1 inch thick).
Preheat your grill to medium heat. Hubby used a well oiled grill basket to cook with. Grill the shrimp and grits, turning 1/2 way through. The shrimp (depending on the size you have) cooked in about 2 minutes per side, and the grits warmed up nicely at 3 minutes per side.
To arrange the salad, take a nice handful of whatever greens you want to use. Drizzle a bit of oil on the greens. Place your grits discs on top. Add more dressing over the grits. Give this a nice shot of smoked sea salt. Place your shrimp on top, garnish…and dig in!
Bold, bright flavours on a plate. Shrimp, grits, smokey flavoured cheese, salt and chipotle oil all under a jalapeno lime dressing. Makes the perfect starter salad, or if you are like us and love having salads for dinner, this can turn into a nice light meal (just make the portion a little larger). This Southwest Shrimp and Grits Salad will be making a few appearances this summer that’s for sure.
**Olive Tasting Room provided the oil and vinegar used to create this post. The recipe, photos and all opinions are mine**
- For the Grits: (use gluten free grits if you need to make a GF version)
- ½ cup yellow grits
- 2 cups water
- ¼ tsp.salt
- ½ tsp. spicy garlic pepper
- 1 fresh jalapeno (seeded and diced)
- ½ cup double smoked cheddar (shredded)
- For the Dressing:
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Jalapeno Lime White Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tsp. agave nectar
- For the Shrimp:
- 8 fresh shrimp (cleaned)
- 1 tbsp. Chipotle Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- Smoked sea salt (for seasoning)
- Salad greens
- Garnish (optional)
- To make the Grits: Add 2 cups of water to a small saucepan
- Season with ¼ tsp. salt
- Bring to a boil
- Slowly add the grits
- Cook over low heat till done, about 20 minutes (stirring often)
- Remove from heat and add cheese, garlic pepper and diced jalapenos
- Mix well, and set aside to cool slightly
- Take a sheet of plastic wrap, and scoop grits onto it
- Roll into a log and tie the ends of the plastic wrap into a knot
- Place in fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours) to chill
- For the Dressing: Combine the olive oil, Jalapeno Lime White Balsamic Vinegar and agave nectar
- Mix well and set aside till ready to use
- For the Shrimp: Clean shrimp and pat dry
- Combine the Chipotle Olive Oil and smoked paprika in a bowl
- Brush over shrimp
- Marinate shrimp in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Preheat grill to medium heat
- Get your salad greens ready
- Remove grits from fridge, take off plastic wrap and slice into 1 inch thick discs
- Grill shrimp and grits in a well oiled grill basket, turning ½ way through
- Shrimp (depending on the size) are about 2 minutes per side
- Grits about 3 minutes per side
- To Assemble: Arrange some greens on a plate
- Drizzle some dressing over greens
- Add the grits, and drizzle with more dressing
- Season with smoked sea salt
- Add the shrimp