Natural sweetness that cometh from the land and sea. Corn and shrimp are innate culinary partners. The sweetness of the sun and the buttery saltiness of the sea are captured in these essential summertime ingredients. The combination of shrimp and corn is one fully appreciated in Southern cooking, and in my own. Together, corn and shrimp shine brighter than individually on their own. They create one of my favorite foundations for a variety of summertime cold salads.
This particular recipe further accentuates the radiant sweet flavors with – totally underutilized Mediterranean herbs – dill and majoram. The shrimp are prepared Southern style in a rapid blanche of lemony, flavored water. The corn are roasted and caramelized over the grill, then knifed off the cob. The inclusion of jalapenos turn on the flavor jet engines. The briny and creamy feta cheese and plenty of lemon tie this summertime together and brings us more Greek-like infusion.
You and your friends will dig this simple and stunning salad at your next outdoor grilling session.
Southern and Greek inspired shrimp and grilled corn salad
Ingredients (serves 8 people)
- 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2-3 quarts water
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 lemons, cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 jalapenos, 1 cut into quarters the other minced & with seed removed
- 4 ears of corn, in husk
- 3 tablespoons dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon marjoram, leaves only
- 3 scallion stalks, diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 – 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
First, prepare and cook the shrimp. In a large pot, add the water, bay leaves, lemon quarters, jalapeno quarters, and whole peppercorns. Bring the mixture up to a boil. The aromatics will flavor the water as it comes to a boil. Season with salt and add the shrimp. Have the shrimp blanche in the seasoned liquid for 1-2 minutes. Immediately drain the liquid and place the shrimp in an ice water bath to halt the cooking process. Strain the shrimp and place in a refrigerator to cool.
Prepare the corn for the grill. Using the corn with its husk creates a natural steaming vessel. Add the corn to the grill over high heat. Close the lid and turn the corn every couple of minutes. The corn will take approximately 15 minutes to cook. If the husk starts to char a bit, that is great.
Have the corn cool for 15 minutes. Once cool to the touch, remove the husk and cut the corn kernels off the cob. Save the cob for soup or chowder.
Prepare the Southern and Greek inspired summer salad. Toss the shrimp and corn in a large mixing bowl. Add the dill, marjoram scallions, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, feta cheese, salt and pepper. By hand, mix these ingredients thoroughly. Taste and re-season. I like mine extra lemony. Serve cold and enjoy!