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BBQ spiced shrimp with tomato salad

This is Week #31 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

I traveled far and wide to gather the ingredients for this salad. Ok, really it wasn't so far or wide, and this recipe was totally worth going to two stores for. Our local grocery store didn't have heirloom tomatoes or a good jumbo shrimp selection, but Whole Foods pulled through. Back to the totally-worth-it part. If I could be a salad, this very salad is the salad I would be. It has seafood and spice and tomatoes and onions and basil, which apparently when all put together makes The Perfect Salad. That, coming from the queen of salads, is saying a lot.

And lucky for me, my husband didn't seem too interested. I played it down. "Eh, it's pretty good." All the more for me! Guess what I'll be eating for lunch and dinner for the next couple days!

It's also super easy to make (30 minutes or less), which is always a selling point for me.

In a blender, puree the following until smooth:

1/3 cup packed basil leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

Season with kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

Light a grill.

In a small bowl, combine the following ingredients:

Mix together.

Brush 1 pound of jumbo shrimp with canola oil and coat the shrimp with the spice mixture.

Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total. 

Arrange heirloom tomato slices on a plate (or maybe 2 plates if you are sharing) along with sliced red onions.

Drizzle the basil mixture over the tomatoes and onions. Top with the shrimp.

Garnish with basil leaves, if desired.

As I finished up photographing this salad, The Perfect Salad, the sun had just gone down which made the outside temperature tolerable. I sat outside by myself, devouring every last morsel on my plate while enjoying the peace that follows a setting sun. 

BBQ Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad

This salad is INCREDIBLE, with a delicious combination of flavors and array of beautiful colors. (source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Contributed by Megan Porta from

Published Aug 3, 2011

Serves: 8

Total time: 25 min

BBQ Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad


  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 large yellow heirloom tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  1. In a blender, puree the 1/3 cup of basil leaves with the olive oil until smooth. Season the oil with salt and black pepper.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix the sweet smoked paprika with the pure ancho chile powder, light brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Brush the shrimp with the canola oil and season all over with the spice mixture. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
  3. Arrange the tomato and onion slices on a platter and drizzle with the basil oil. Top with the shrimp, garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.



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Reader Comments (9)

This looks like the perfect salad to me as wel...nothing much better in the world than spicy grilled shrimp!! Love this...

I really really like shrimp on the grill. I feel like some people I know really don't because they feel like the texture isn't as good as if it were just a cocktail shrimp. Personally I really like them on the grill. They always end up having such a great flavor!

08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRavieNomNoms

Nothing says summer like grilled spicy shrimp! These pictures are really stunning and making me hungry. What an enjoyable way to watch the sun go down-great post!

08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTina@flourtrader

Wow. I have to admit that I'd pick off every single one of those beautiful shrimp and eat them on their own. Then I'd gobble down the tomatoes, using them so mop up all the basil drizzled on that plate. I'd try to eat it as a salad, but I know I'd fail. The shrimp is amazing. Absolutely so.

Gorgeous, gorgeous salad! Love WF and they do manage to come through with the goods every time :)

08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMagic of Spice

I love the colors of this bad boy! It really is a beautiful salad, regardless of how it tastes. The fact that its super yummy too relegates it to the Best Salad Ever category. Buzzed :)

08.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterParsley Sage

I love the look of the shrimp...nice and blackened a bit...oooooh I can almost taste 'em!

08.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate @ Diethood

Yum yum! I love the picture with the spices all labelled out. Beautifully done! And those shrimp...RAWR! I can't believe how good those look! Bravo!

08.7.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Love the way this recepie was presented,no extraneous info which presumes the reader is clueless.

08.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTess Quadra

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