Colorado has had an unusually warm August. Despite the stores’ fall merchandise, I’m still in summer mode. Our produce is at its best at this time of year. This time of year we enjoy corn, tomatoes, peaches, and melons.
My garden’s tomato plants have been prolific lately. Every 2-3 days I pick up a bowl full and try to use it. Fortunately, I hid some in this Honey Lime Shrimp Salad.
It has a Southwest flavor profile, like many of my recipes. Chili powder, cumin, honey, and lime juice marinate the shrimp. The marinade also doubles as a salad dressing.
Like all of my salad recipes, this Southwest shrimp salad is laden with toppings. The salad’s toppings add color, texture, and flavor. They transform a side salad into a main dish salad.
HONEY LIME SHRIMP SALAD INGREDIENTS
- medium size peeled and deveined shrimp
- butter lettuce
- chili powder, cumin, garlic powder
- cherry tomatoes
- queso fresco
HONEY LIME SHRIMP SALAD
Make the shrimp marinade and the salad vinaigrette first. Combine lime zest, juice, honey, spices, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Shake or whisk well.
3 tablespoons of the marinade for the shrimp in a big bowl. Set them aside after they’ve been coated. Depending on your time, marinate the shrimp for 15-30 minutes. I like to stir them once to distribute the marinade evenly.
Making salad while shrimp marinates. Arrange torn butter lettuce leaves on a serving platter or in a large salad bowl. Add halved cherry tomatoes, corn, avocado slices, and crumbled queso fresco.
Add the shrimp to a hot skillet with a little olive oil. Spread the shrimp out in a single layer and cook them for 2 minutes before flipping them. The sugar in the honey and lime juice will caramelize the outside if you don’t move them.
The cooking time for medium-sized shrimp is approximately 5 minutes. Remove them from the heat and let them cool for a minute before adding them to the salad with any remaining sauce.
Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with vinaigrette or serve on the side.
SHRIMP SIZE P/L
A recipe calling for a pound of shrimp often causes confusion. You may be even more perplexed if you ask for a pound of large shrimp at the grocery store’s seafood counter. If you don’t know how many large shrimp equal a pound, you might be surprised. The most common shrimp sizes and numbers per pound are listed below.
X-Small – 61/70 shrimp per pound
Small – 51/60 shrimp per pound
Medium – 41/50 shrimp per pound
Large – 31/40 shrimp per pound
X-Large – 26/30 shrimp per pound
Jumbo – 21/25 shrimp per pound
X-Jumbo – 16/20 shrimp per pound
Collosal – 15 or less
What is queso fresco?
Fresh Mexican cheese, queso fresco. It’s soft, crumbly, and salty, usually made from cow’s milk. It’s like feta, but milder.
What can I use instead of butter lettuce?
This salad can be made with any lettuce. Without butter lettuce, I suggest romaine or green leaf lettuce.
Is frozen shrimp, OK?
Yes. I only buy frozen shrimp. Unless you live near the ocean, most of the shrimp at the seafood counter is frozen.
How to cook Honey lime Shrimp Salad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- Zest of a lime
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound raw medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 head butter lettuce (or 5 cups lettuce of choice)
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
- Cilantro for garnish
- Season with salt and pepper in a small jar or bowl with olive oil and honey. Shake or whisk well.
- Add shrimp to a big bowl. Remove any excess water with paper towels. 3 tablespoons of marinade/vinaigrette for the shrimp Stir until the shrimp are coated, then marinate for 15-30 minutes, stirring once to re-coat.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Platter or serve the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Corn, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, and queso fresco
- In a large skillet, heat a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Add the shrimp to the hot skillet and swirl the oil to coat the bottom. Cook for 2 minutes before flipping them. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until opaque and curled.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the shrimp to the salad with any remaining sauce. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette or serve on the side.