Mar 14, 2018

Grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
The avocado pairs well with the bright, acidic notes of the citrus and crisp, slightly sweet licorice flavor of the fennel.

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This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.

California avocados are one of the healthiest fruits grown and are in season from spring through fall.  This shrimp and avocado salad is tossed with segmented citrus and slices of fennel for a bright, refreshing salad.

I am lucky because I can get fresh avocados when I shop at the the Santa Monica farmers market which is just a few blocks away from my apartment. Being close to a farmers market allows me to enjoy cooking in a style referred to as “California cuisine”. An iconic cuisine which includes freshly prepared local ingredients as one of its basics. By using fresh and colorful California fruits and vegetables in my recipes, I meet my goal of “fresh and delicious”.

Grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

All About Avocados

When shopping for avocados, look for ones that are firm but “give” slightly when gently squeezed in your hand. You can also remove the top stem, though I prefer to call it a nub, at the top of the avocado – if you remove it and it is green, it’s most likely ready to eat. If it’s brown then it’s probably overripe.

If you’re doing your shopping on Sunday night and aren’t planning on using the avocados until the end of the week, buy firmer avocados so they can ripen without becoming overripe by the time they are used.

In this recipe I grill the avocado until grill marks develop so it has a smoky, charred flavor.

Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Fennel – The avocado pairs well with the bright, acidic notes of the citrus and crisp, slightly sweet licorice flavor of the fennel. I either thinly slice the fennel bulb or use a mandolin to cut it thinly and evenly.
  • Shrimp – I add pan-seared shrimp to this salad for an easy and quick topping. The terms “jumbo” and “extra jumbo” and “colossal” aren’t standardized terms within the industry. Instead look at the numbers – they estimate approximately how many shrimp are in 1 pound. The shrimp should be peeled and deveined before beginning the recipe.
  • Citrus – I use a combination of grapefruit and blood orange in this recipe though one or the other can be used based on preference and availability.
grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing and fennel

How to Make Grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

For the dressing:

  1. Whisk the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, champagne vinegar and garlic until the mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. You may have to whisk again before serving.

For the shrimp:

  1. Cook the shrimp. Season the shrimp with cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt then add the shrimp to the pan. Sauté, turning once until the shrimp are no longer grey and opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

To assemble the salad:

  1. Grill avocados. Heat a grill or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Brush the avocado with the olive oil and place, cut side down, on the grill or griddle pan and cook, unmoved until grill marks develop, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Assemble and serve the salad. Add the arugula and fennel and grapefruit to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing (add more if necessary) and toss to combine. Slice the avocado and add to the bowl. Toss to combine and top with the shrimp. Serve immediately.
Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing closeup cooking with cocktail rings
Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the shrimp:

  • 1 pound 21/25 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the salad:

  • 1 large Hass avocado
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 5 ounces wild arugula
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 small blood orange, segmented

Instructions:

For the dressing:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, champagne vinegar and garlic until the mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. You may have to whisk again before serving.

For the shrimp:

  • Season the shrimp with cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt then add the shrimp to the pan. Sauté, turning once until the shrimp are no longer grey and opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

For the salad:

  • Heat a grill or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Brush the avocado with the olive oil and place, cut side down, on the grill or griddle pan and cook, unmoved until grill marks develop, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
  • Add the arugula and fennel and grapefruit to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing (add more if necessary) and toss to combine. Slice the avocado and add to the bowl. Toss to combine and top with the shrimp. Serve immediately.

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This post is sponsored by California Avocado Commission. – all opinions expressed are my own. 

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