It’s totally the dog days of summer. Just about everywhere you look, except London perhaps, is suffering from oven abolishing heat—at least here in the states…and definitely here in sunny, sweltering So. Cal. It is supposed to reach 106 today. Expletives come to mind. I won’t share those with you—today.
Instead, what I will share with you is this cool, tangy salad with a few unique things to offer up. I grilled up some sweet potatoes…and no, not yams, sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have that golden color and although yams may have made for a prettier salad, the lighter, less sweet taste of the sweet potato (rather ironic, isn’t it?) offers up the perfect starchy and not so overwhelming addition to this salad and is a nice contrast to the tart lime dressing.
Add some plump sauteed shrimp, toasted pepitas, sharp red onions and a sprinkle of cilantro and you have a perfectly interesting summer salad. No boring, been there done that iceberg and cucumber thingy here folks. Bathed in a bright and citrusy lime dressing, this salad may just cool off your evening a bit in the throes of summer.
Grilled Sweet Potato and Shrimp Napa Cabbage Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
Adapted from Cooking Light
3 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (pepitas)
1/2 pound of medium uncooked shrimp
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons honey
dash of hot sauce (optional)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (I skipped…it’s up to you how hot you like your salads)
3 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup sliced red onion (I used 2/3 c.)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
To make the salad:
Peel potatoes, and cut across into 1 inch thick discs. Combine potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; toss. Grill on a medium heat about 2-4 minutes on each side. Cool potatoes and toast the pepitas over a small saute pan on medium heat. Toss them often or they will burn. Once they are golden or slightly brown, take them off and let cool.
Peel, clean and devein shrimp (make a slit down the back and remove and rinse out black “vein”). Pat shrimp until very dry with paper towels. Lightly salt and pepper shrimp and place two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, put your shrimp in a single layer in the pan. With tongs, turn the shrimp over after a minute – two minutes depending on how large your shrimp are. Cook another minute or two after flipping and take off. Shrimp should turn a light pink. It’s very easy to over cook shrimp. Just do a minute on each side and you’ll be fine. Lay shrimp on paper towels to absorb excess oil and let them cool. Make the dressing next.
For the dressing:
Combine 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, juice, and next 4 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl. Whisk.
Finish the salad: Chop your potatoes in large cubes and wash and shred your cabbage into bite sized pieces. Peel and thinly slice red onions. Sprinkle potatoes, onions, pepitas and shrimp over cabbage and dress. Enjoy!