The traditional chef's salad is a snapshot of the typical 1970s-era American deli counter. This version has Mediterranean flair, with cumin-rubbed grilled shrimp, roasted peppers and a light lemon dressing.
You'll need four 8- or 10-inch bamboo skewers for this recipe; soak them in water for 1 hour.
The shrimp and zucchini can be broiled in the oven as well. (When cooking the zucchini, turn off the broiler for the final 5 minutes and finish by baking with the oven set at 400 degrees, to mimic the indirect heat of the grill.)
Make Ahead: The peppers can be roasted and refrigerated 2 or 3 days in advance. The shrimp and zucchini can be brushed with the cumin oil, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before grilling.
- For the shrimp and zucchini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces shell-on (31-40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 small (1 pound total) zucchini, each one cut lengthwise in half
- For the salad
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon honey, or to taste
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- About 12 ounces lettuce (variety of your choice), trimmed, cleaned and torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 ounces (about 1 cup) crumbled feta cheese
- 1 medium red, yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted and cut into 1/4-inch thick strips (see NOTE)
- 1 1/3 cups home-cooked or no-salt-added canned chickpeas, drained
For the shrimp and zucchini: Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them over one side of the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 3 or 4 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
Combine the oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a liquid measuring cup.
Thread 4 or 5 shrimp on each skewer, skewering the shrimp through the deveined side of the tail end and again through the top of the shrimp, just like pulling a thread through a "C" from the bottom and on through the top. Repeat with the remaining shrimp so you have 4 skewers. Place the skewers and zucchini halves, cut sides, up, on a wide piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Brush the skewered shrimp and the zucchini halves on all sides with the cumin-oil mixture.
Grill the shrimp skewers (uncovered) over direct heat for about 3 minutes, until cooked on the first side. Turn over the skewers and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer the skewers to a large plate.
Arrange the zucchini halves, cut side down, on the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until grill marks form, then turn over the zucchini and and grill for 1 or 2 minutes to achieve marks on the skin side. Move the zucchini to the indirect-heat side of the grill, close the lid and cook for 5 minutes; the vegetables should be soft but not mushy. Transfer to a plate.
For the salad: Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, parsley and honey in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk constantly while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified dressing. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Divide the lettuce evenly among individual wide, shallow bowls, such as pasta bowls. Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2-inch half-moons.
Fill each bowl with one-quarter of the zucchini pieces, one-quarter of the feta, one-quarter of the roasted pepper strips and one-quarter of the chickpeas. Top each salad with a shrimp skewer. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.
(Alternatively, place the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the dressing, tossing to coat lightly. Divide among individual bowls and top with the zucchini, feta, roasted pepper strips, chickpeas and shrimp skewers, then drizzle with the remaining dressing.)
NOTE: To roast a bell pepper, use tongs to hold it over the flame of a gas burner or place under the oven broiler on a foil-lined pan; turn as needed until blackened on all sides. Place in a resealable food storage bag and seal to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. When cool, discard the charred skin, the stem and the seeds. Cut the flesh into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
From columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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