Never underestimate the power of color to inspire what we cook. I'd been working nonstop on my new e-book (Dress Up Your Salad, available now!), and testing lots of salad dressings and salad combinations. One day a few weeks ago, while my kitchen overflowed with jars, and herbs, and prepped ingredients, I took a break and treated myself to a little spree at my favorite local discount store, where I found this bowl. You know the rest: bowl meets black beans meets gorgeous red bell pepper meets kicked-up chipotle lime salad dressing. The shrimp were a bonus, and absolutely perfect, but you could swap in some shredded rotisserie chicken if that's what you have on hand. Go ahead and add some chopped avocado, cold cooked rice, or sliced onion, too. This is a light main-course salad to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and it will carry you straight through summer picnic season.
Shrimp and black bean salad with chipotle-lime dressing
The dressing recipe is from Dress Up Your Salad. Serves 4-6.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup neutral oil (rice bran, vegetable, canola)
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo, to taste
1 Tbsp plain yogurt (low fat or nonfat)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
For the salad:
1/2 lb large (26-30 size) shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined
15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1-2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves (substitute flat-leaf parsley if you don't like cilantro)
Starting with one chipotle pepper, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a blender. Process until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasoning by adding an additional pepper, more agave, or more lime. Transfer the dressing to a jar, cover, and refrigerate. (You can make this up to 1 week ahead.)
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer, add the shrimp, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are just pink and curled. Drain the shrimp and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Dry the shrimp, and add to a large mixing bowl.
In the same bowl, add the black beans, red pepper and chopped lettuce. Stir gently.
Pour in just as much of the dressing as you need, and not more. Stir again, then toss in the cilantro.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Note: You can make the salad several hours before you want to serve. Taste, and add additional dressing if necessary.
More shrimp salad ideas:
Caesar salad with shrimp
Picnic-perfect tortellini and shrimp salad
Orzo and shrimp salad with asparagus, bell peppers and feta cheese
Lemon-basil shrimp (or lobster) salad rolls
Shrimp, couscous, feta and herb salad with tomato vinaigrette
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Grilled shrimp tostadas, from Panini Happy
Chinese shrimp with black bean sauce, from Appetite for China
Black bean, shrimp and corn burritos, from Poor Girl Eats Well
Cilantro lime shrimp, from Skinnytaste
Easy shrimp cocktail with creamy Sriracha cocktail sauce, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on items purchased through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting the blog when you start your shopping here.
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.