Jeanne Kelley is a cookbook author, food writer, and food stylist based in Los Angeles. The California native is an edible garden expert who specializes in seasonal and sustainable cooking. Her food is beautiful, healthful, and totally alluring.
In late summer, the most abundant plants in my vegetable garden are cherry tomatoes and mild peppers. While the rest of the patch wanes, Sungold and Chocolate Cherry tomatoes, and Padron and Shishito peppers are still yielding baskets. I make the most of this late season bounty in fresh and vibrant salads. Here is a wonderful main dish that combines Mediterranean flavors of lemony shrimp, oregano, and feta cheese with heart-healthy spinach. Grilling the shrimp and the peppers lends a smoky flavor to the salad that will satisfy a hearty appetite. I like to add the sometimes spicy but mostly mild Padron and Shishito peppers from my garden to the mix, but the cute mini bell peppers from the super market are excellent here too. Enjoy this salad alfresco with a glass of chilled white wine for a perfect end of summer meal.
Spinach Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Shrimp, and Peppers
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 8 ounces mixed mild peppers such as Pardon, Shishito, or mini bells
- 8 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- Lemon wedges
- Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.
- Add the peppers to the shrimp and stir to coat with olive oil.
- Grill the shrimp and peppers until browned and tender, turning once or twice, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer the shrimp and peppers to a plate.
- In a very large bowl, combine the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion with dressing to taste and toss to coat. Add the warm shrimp and peppers and toss lightly. Divide the salad among plates. Sprinkle the salads with feta cheese and oregano leaves. Garnish the salads with lemon wedges and serve.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and sea salt in a small jar.
- Seal the jar and shake well to blend. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature before continuing.)