Although summer days now seem so far away, the warm fall weather has been leaving me holding on to my favorite summer foods a bit longer. A month or so back I posted a recipe for Pesto, and promised myself I would store enough in my freezer to get me through the winter. But, once again, I love my pesto too much to make it last! I have been mixing it a few times a week with eggs (so yummy!) and I used the last of my big batch as a dressing for this salad and as a marinade for the corn and shrimp. They are still selling basil at my local farmer's market so I urge you to make a big batch now and enjoy this summery salad all winter long.
This salad was a huge hit for dinner. My husband has continuously requested it since the first time I made it. It is also so simple to put together because the corn and shrimp grill up very fast, so as long as you have your pesto ready this meal can be put together in 15 minutes or less! The recipe below for the Pesto may make more than you need for this dish, but I usually just save it to put on salads throughout the week. I also add water to it after I use it as a marinade to make it a thinner dressing and easier to coat the lettuce.
Pesto Grilled Shrimp and Corn Salad
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
3 cups basil
2 cups spinach
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup water, optional for salad dressing
10 ounces mixed greens
2 ears of corn
2-3 dozen shrimp
1 bell pepper, diced (optional, but I used a green pepper for a nice crunch)
- Finely pulse garlic and walnuts in a food processor.
- Place the bail and spinach in the food processor. Turn the food processor on and and slowly pour oil down the spout. This will help ensure the oil is distributed evenly.
- Add the lemon zest, juice, salt and cheese and pulse until combined.
- Set aside half of the pesto for the marinade in one bowl and half for salad dressing in another bowl. You can add water to the dressing pesto to make it thinner.
- Preheat your grill or grill pan. Meanwhile, shuck the corn and liberally brush on pesto. Grill the corn for about 7-10 minutes over medium heat, until grill marks appear. Remove and let the corn cool.
- While the corn is grilling, place the shrimp in a bag with the remainder of the pesto marinade (same bowl of pesto you used for the corn) Shake the bag to evenly coat the shrimp. Grill the shrimp for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp is opaque.
- Once the corn is cooled, cut it off of the cob. (Look up a video or directions if you do not know how to do this--be careful!)
- Mix the lettuce, corn, shrimp and bell pepper in a large salad bowl. Coat with desired amount of pesto dressing. Enjoy!