Roasted Shrimp Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

July 3, 2017 by Nicole Collins

I'm going through a MAJOR cherry obsession right now.

It's the craziest thing! This year is the first time EVER in my life that I've EVER even eaten or bought a fresh cherry. But, I just can't seem to get enough!

In the past month, I've put cherries in my smoothies, in my cocktails, in my appetizers, and now, in my salads. Lots of cherry recipes coming soon!

It's funny, because I don't like like cherry flavored things. So, I just assumed that I didn't like cherries. I do like a nice marachino cherry on top of my icecream sundaes, but I knew that wasn't the same. I bought some frozen sweet cherries for my Unicorn Smoothie, because I knew it would give me a pretty fuchsia color. To my surprise, it was delicious. And ironically enough, fresh cherries taste nothing like cherry flavored things. Who knew?

I even bought a fun cherry pitter so I don't have to waste my life away trying to poke out the pit with a drinking straw. Totally worth the $5!

So, today's recipe is the first of many that celebrates the dark sweet cherry. (I'm not brave enough to try the sour cherries though. Still yuck in my mind!)

This salad could not be easier! There are not a ton of ingredients; there's not a ton of effort required; but there is a TON of flavor!

Let's start with the protein. We're going with shrimp on this one. Mmmmm. Shrimp is easily my favorite! We're keeping it super simple by oven roasting it with some salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic. That's it! The salty shrimp pairs so well with the sweet vinaigrette we make out of the cherries.

Now let's talk greens. I chose a bagged spring mix for this. This is my favorite bagged mix that you can get from the supermarket. It's got a mix of dark and baby greens and a mix of red greens. Red greens? That's probably not right. Red lettuces and raddichio...there we go. Anyway, I love all of the colors and shapes and textures that you get out of one bag, so that's always my go to. But, you could easily substitute fresh spinach or even just dark leafy romaine for the spring mix.

To the shrimp and the greens, our additives are simple: goat cheese and candied pecans. That's it! Earthy greens, salty shrimp, creamy cheese, crunchy nuts, and sweet dressing. What else could you ask for? This is one of those less is more meals, for sure. When you get one of everything in one bite...wow. You'll wonder how something so delicious could be so good for you.

The star of the show is the cherry vinaigrette. It's easy, it's sweet, it's pretty, and it ties this whole salad together. Sweet cherries and tangy balsamic mix with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper to create the perfect balance for our dressing. Yum!

With the holiday coming up tomorrow, this is the perfect lite meal to make you not feel bad about stuffing your face all day tomorrow (which is my plan). And if you've already been celebrating and stuffing your face all weekend, then let's call this your “get your life right” meal to accompany the aftermath lol.

But really, holiday or not, this salad screams summer, so you might as well prepare to eat it weekly for the next month or two. It's that good!

Have a happy and safe Fourth, and let's eat!

Roasted Shrimp Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Serves: 4 Print

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 lb raw shrimp; tails off, peeled, and deveined (thawed, if frozen)

  • ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • 2 bags spring greens mix

  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled

  • 1/3 cup glazed (candied) pecans

For the Cherry Vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup dark sweet cherries, pitted

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp agave

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Roast the shrimp: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel. Toss shrimp, olive oil, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and garlic together on the sheet pan. Spread shrimp in an even layer. Roast for 8-10 minutes until fully cooked and shrimp are opaque.

  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Add all ingredients for vinaigrette in a small food processor or blender. Process until fully combined. Taste for seasoning.

  3. Assemble the salad: Divide spring salad mix between 4 bowls. Tear greens with your hands. Divide shrimp, goat cheese, and pecans evenly between each bowl. Top with vinaigrette.

Recipe notes:

*I love spring mix salad mix because it has lots of different dark greens and red lettuces. You could use a mix of romaine and spinach, or any dark green combo you like.

*I buy Emerald brand glazed pecans because they're decently priced and really yummy. Plain pecans would work just fine in this too.

*This is a great make ahead meal. Portion out the salad ingredients in tupperware containers. Portion out the dressing in small containers. Grab, go, and enjoy!

*Grilling the shrimp would be a great summertime option!

*I always line my pans with aluminum foil before cooking anything in the oven so that I don't have to worry about it during clean up time. It's an optional step, but it makes life so much easier.

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