With grapefruit, orange, and lime, this broiled shrimp and citrus salad is a refreshing and quick meal you can feel good about.
One of the best parts of winter is the fresh citrus. While we embrace the cold and snow in Vermont, citrus is at its peak in other parts of the world. I eat locally as much as possible, but there’s no local substitute for fresh grapefruits and oranges. Even better are Meyer lemons and Key limes with their sharp, distinct flavors that liven up our taste buds during a subdued time of year. Of course, their juices make for some of the best meringue pies. And if you need an excuse to make a pie, think of all the Vitamin C you'll get from it.
add citrus to your winter salads
For everyday eating, salads are a good place to add citrus. Whether using their juice in dressings or adding segments of the fruit directly into the salad, citrus helps bring everything to life. When I’m feeling bogged down and lazy, which is often in winter, I appreciate having a flavorful salad for dinner with a good mix of textures, vegetables, proteins, and fruit. I probably eat more salads in winter than I do in the middle of summer, now that I think of it, maybe because I’m more aware of needing to eat healthy, especially with my garden on break.
Some days we make a simple side salad to go along with dinner. Other times, we take what we already have and make it into a meal. Leftover chicken or steak works well when we have that in the fridge. However, shrimp is a good choice when leftovers aren’t an option. Shrimp is one of my seafood staples. It’s quick to cook, reliable, and never tastes fishy. We often buy bags of frozen, uncooked shrimp. And when we can find them, ones that are already peeled and deveined to save time.
broiled shrimp are a quick salad protein
Luckily, citrus and shrimp pair particularly well together. My favorite way to cook shrimp in a hurry is under my oven's broiler. It takes less than 10 minutes until they're cooked, and they don't need much attention. You can toss the shrimp in whatever spices you like before, as well as some citrus juice and olive oil, before throwing them under the broiler. Then they’re ready to go on a salad either while still warm or at room temperature.
To make this into a more robust meal, I also like to add beans and avocado. I have both dried beans and canned in my pantry, so whatever I have time to prepare goes in. At other times, instead of beans, I might add nuts or seeds. Beets are another common staple in my winter salads. I don’t often make my salads the same from one time to the next, so you never know what you’ll get, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
mellowing out raw onions for salad
Then there’s onion. I love onions, but I don’t love onion breath from raw onions when you eat them in salads. In researching methods to combat the onion breath challenge, I found a tip from Cook’s Illustrated. They say to soak the onions in a mixture of baking soda and water for 15 minutes to help take tame the bite. I found this technique to help to some extent, but I still had a lingering onion taste in my mouth for hours afterward. Next time I might try this out an hour or more in advance of assembling the salad to mellow them further. Just don’t forget to rinse them off well before using.
Take this salad as a starting point and change it up with what you prefer and have on hand. For me, the keys are the citrus and the shrimp. Those, and a well-flavored dressing, are key. In order to avoid a soggy salad, I keep all of the ingredients separated and assemble everything just before serving.
If you like this Broiled Shrimp and Citrus Salad, check out my recipe for Coronation Chicken Salad.Print