Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Melon Salad

Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Melon Salad
Recipe type: Shellfish
Serves: 3
  • 15 dried chiles de arbol (or Cayenne)
  • 1 1/2 Cups olive oil; for the marinade
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic; sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro; sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 35 medium unpeeled shrimp; heads removed
  • 4 Cups watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honeydew, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 Cup mint leaves; finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Cups romaine lettuce (rib removed); cut in wide strips
  1. Grind the chiles in a spice mill to form a powder (about 2 tablespoons). In a bowl, mix chile powder with oil, salt, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Add shrimp and marinate for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature, or overnight in a refrigerator. Combine melons, sugar, mint, lime juice, and vinegar, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a hot grill. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve marinade. Grill shrimp for about 3 minutes, and set aside to cool. Toss the romaine with 4 tablespoons of the reserved marinade, and form a bed of greens on each plate. Drain the melons slightly. Peel the shrimp, toss lightly in some of the reserved marinade. Place melons and shrimp on romaine.
Mark Miller writes of this recipe: "This is one of my favorite brunch dishes. It combines the searing heat of shrimp marinated with chiles de arbol and the refreshing taste of ripe melons. Mint provides the perfect accent in this dish as it combines well with the fruit flavors and contrasts with the heat of the chiles. The secret to making this salad is to cool the grilled shrimp in their shells at room temperature rather than refrigerating them, which can toughen and dry them out, and to peel them at the last minute. Feel free to use any combination of melons: only the watermelon is a must!"

This is an excellent brunch dish.

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