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!
August 7, 2012 at 8:59 am
You can see how crisp and light this salad looks. Not overly drowned in dressing or boring as you mentioned!! My son would even eat this which thrills me as I don’t want to have to make separate dishes! We’ve had hot weather, but not over 100! Time for dipping in the pool!
August 7, 2012 at 9:17 am
What a wonderful salad! I like the refreshing tangy vinaigrette.
August 7, 2012 at 11:19 am
I’d love this salad, it looks so fresh and vibrant. I wouldn’t be able to skip the jalapeno, I’d love the heat with the citrus flavors of the vinaigrette.
August 7, 2012 at 11:46 am
Tasty looking salad!
August 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm
Whattttttt 106 degrees!? I guess it’s a good thing I’m in Santa Monica during the day…cooped up in a sometimes air conditioned office. This salad sounds so refreshing…now you’ve got me craving this for lunch! I guess my cold pasta salad will have to do. Love the addition of sweet potatoes. What a cool idea.
August 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm
I love the balance of the flavors and textures in this salad, Geni, it looks delightful! The perfect antidote to a (very) hot summer day. 🙂
August 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm
A beautifully unique and delicious looking salad friend, I love the sweet potato in it 😀
Choc Chip Uru
August 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm
This certainly is a one-of-a-kind salad, Geni, and a darned good one, at that! Your use of both sweet potato and Napa cabbage with shrimp and such a light dressing make this a perfect dish for your current heatwave. Speaking of which, ours looks to have broken now with temps in the 70’s forecast for end of week. May you get the same forecasts very soon.
August 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Could I use salmon or tilapia?
August 12, 2012 at 4:44 am
Absolutely! I think either would be lovely. The salmon would definitely hold up better. Tilapia might be a little delicate. Try swordfish if you want a heartier white fish to stand up to a salad but i really think the salmon would be awesome! Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your comments and questions!
August 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm
This is really (expletive deleted) good!
August 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm
August 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm
This looks fantastic, Geni! I never would have thought to add sweet potatoes to a salad like this, but I bet it was delicious.
August 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm
I bet that totally hits the spot on 106 degree days. Wow, that sounds miserable!! Take care of yourself and I’ll cross my fingers cooler air heads your way.
August 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm
What a great salad, I love the flavours and textures in there
August 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm
Perfect salad for this weather, I love the heat though, bring it on!!
August 8, 2012 at 3:01 am
What a lovely combination of flavours for a salad.
August 8, 2012 at 8:07 am
I am definitely on a baking hiatus this week! A salad like this is just the thing for such hot days. Stay cool, Geni!
August 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Did someone say shrimp? I LOVE this salad. I just can’t stop starring at it. It is just right up my alley and I would love to make this for work. Which is why I’m featuring this wonderful salad on my blog for tomorrow’s post. Congrats 🙂
August 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm
Thank you Kay! How sweet!
August 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm
I love all of the flavors in this salad and the dressing!
August 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm
Looks fresh and delish! I am always searching for new salad recipes. Thanks for sharing!
August 8, 2012 at 8:44 pm
I like how you blend different texture and flavors in this salad Geni…perfect for the warm.hot weather that we are experiencing 🙂
Hope you are having a nice week!
August 9, 2012 at 3:53 am
It’s been almost that hot here and I just can’t stand it! Fun salads like this are certainly in order!
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August 9, 2012 at 8:25 am
Such a nice fresh and light salad to beat the summer heat. 106? yikes.
August 10, 2012 at 4:16 am
This sounds like a terrific salad for summer with wonderful flavors.
August 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm
This sounds perfect. I’m all about salads in the summer. My place is far too small to even consider turning the oven on. I feel like I’m sitting in a sweat box after two minutes.
August 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm
Dude, it’s disgustingly hot in the valley! I’m so glad I’m stuck in a cool air-conditioned office from 9-5 or else my AC bill would be through the roof! And yes, this salad is the perfect way to cool off in this heat!
August 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Hope you survived the heat. We had lots of that too. Still, I’ll take it over anything below 30. Great salad. I love grilled sweet potatoes too! Never thought to put them in a salad. So clever! 🙂
September 2, 2012 at 7:58 am
Geni, this sounds so light and refreshing! I have a lovely full day with my husband away golfing and I get to read blogs and go to the market:D I bought a few of those sweet potatoes the other day, they’re so delicious compared to the bright yams.. more subtle I think? I love this salad!!