As I get older, I get lazier, or maybe I get just better at doing more, simply. However you call it, the things I tend to make at home these days are rustic and easy and taste good and that’s all that matters to me. Take my grill formula of choice this summer: skewered salads. They are “messy” compared to your standard composed summer salad, but the impromptu, tossing element to this approach connects the disparate flavors and textures, making these “messy salads” almost like an inverse marinade.
The method is easy and you can adapt it to your preferences: grill small pieces or meat, fish, and vegeatbles on skewers and then toss with herbs or baby greens, summer vegetables – raw or grilled as you like – and some sort of quick but intense vinaigrette. The heat of the food just off the grill pulls together the disparate flavors, creating a semi-wilted, intensely flavorful salad.
- Heat the grill and get prepped: Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium charcoal fire. Peel and devein 1 lb. shrimp (preferably 16-20 ct). Sprinkle generously with S+P (about 1 tsp. and 1/2 tsp.). Thread onto metal skewers (or on wooden skewers that have been soaked in cold water for 20 min) and brush with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Grab a large salad bowl and set it out on the countertop. Husk 2 ears corn, taking care to remove all of the silk, then slice all of the kernels off into the bowl. Halve 1 pint grape tomatoes, lengthwise and add them to the corn kernels. Cut the stems off of 2 bunches cilantro and, using your fingers, tear into smaller sprigs and drop into the bowl.
- Grill the shrimp: Grill the shrimp, undisturbed for a couple of minutes, until they easily release when you pick up an edge, 2-3 min. Flip and cook the other sides until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 to 5 min total.
- Toss and serve: Using kitchen mitts and tongs, slide the shrimp into the bowl with the herbs and corn. Add 4 Tbs. olive oil, 1 lime (juiced), 1 canned chipotle chili (minced) and 1 Tbs. adobo sauce (from the can) . Toss well, scatter 2 avocados (diced) on top, and serve alone or atop quinoa, brown rice, or a tortilla (as I do).