Rush Hour

Summer has a tendency to make long hours of simmering on the stove or roasting in the oven tasks to be avoided. Nothing helps with that avoidance quite like delicious, fresh, crispy salads. Making a main dish salad doesn't need to be a lesson in boring. Instead, layering great ingredients with a wide variety of textures and flavors can be a delightful culinary experience that will have you wanting to visit the farmers' market or your garden more often!

This salad is particularly special in that it pairs spicy grilled shrimp with an Indian-inspired buttermilk dressing. These are layered over a great selection of crisp, tender summer vegetables and you have a meal that's fit for the hottest of summer days. Pair it with a crisp white wine and you're celebrating summer!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Summer Shrimp Salads

  • 8 oz. asparagus -- chopped
  • 8 oz. broccoli -- chopped
  • 8 large tiger prawns
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. chili oil
  • 1 T. garlic oil
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1/4 c. cilantro-mint chutney
  • 1/2 c. lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 10 oz. mixed greens
  • 1/2 large red pepper -- chopped
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber -- sliced
  • 1 large tomato -- cut into thin wedges
  • 1/2 c. finely shredded cheese

Steam the asparagus and broccoli until crisp-tender on the stove or in the microwave. Transfer to a plastic bowl and place in the freezer to quick-chill.

Meanwhile, place the prawns in a shallow dish and add the lemon juice, chili oil, garlic oil and paprika. Using your fingers, coat the prawns evenly with the mixture and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Grill the shrimp over medium high heat until pink and cooked through. It will take very little time to do this.

In a small jar, combine the chutney, buttermilk, yogurt and garlic. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.

Arrange the remaining ingredients evenly on two large plates. Top with the chilled asparagus and broccoli and the grilled shrimp. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 main dish salads
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes