Romaine and Avocado Salad with Grilled Chile Shrimp and Lime-cumin Dressing

This salad is our tribute to Caesar Cardini, the Mexican restaurateur who is credited with inventing in 1924 what today is the single most popular salad in the United States—the Caesar. While this one is quite different, its crunchy texture and the Mexican flavors of lime, cilantro, cumin, chile, and avocado make it equally appealing.

Recipe courtesy of "Grill It!" by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, copyright 2008. Used by permission of DK Publishing. All rights reserved.

Romaine and Avocado Salad with Grilled Chile Shrimp and Lime-cumin Dressing

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    1 lb (450 g) medium-large (16/20 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined for the dressing:
    2 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon chile powder 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh cilantro
    Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1 large head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut crosswise into 2 in (5 cm) pieces 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    12 cherry tomatoes, washed, dried, and stemmed juice of 3 limes
    2 ripe but firm avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and each half cut into 3 wedges


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    • 1

      Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium-hot, you’re ready to cook.

    • 2

      In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together well.

    • 3

      In another bowl, combine the shrimp, oil, chile powder, and salt and pepper and mix well to coat the shrimp evenly. If desired, thread the shrimp onto skewers; otherwise, arrange them on the hot side of the grill. Cook until just done (3–4 minutes per side). To check for doneness, carefully cut into one of the shrimp at its thickest point and peek inside to be sure it is just opaque all the way through.

    • 4

      While the shrimp are cooking, divide the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and avocado wedges among four salad plates.

    • 5

      Transfer the cooked shrimp to the bowl of dressing (pushing them off the skewers, if you used them) and mix gently. Arrange the shrimp on each salad, spoon the remaining dressing over the top, and serve.

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