Tropical Shrimp Salad with Vanilla Vinaigrette

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This post is sponsored by Reese Specialty Foods. The content and opinions expressed here are my own.

If you’re not familiar with the geography of Florida, my state is divided into two regions. Everything south of the Orlando area has a tropical feel. The Florida Keys, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach on the east coast, Naples, Sanibel, and Tampa on the west coast… they are filled with palm trees, swimming pools, and sandy beaches. North of Orlando is where you start to see hills, oak trees, rivers, and springs. So now that we live in Gainesville, I decided to create a recipe that brings a little South Florida flavor to North Florida with this Tropical Shrimp Salad. It combines fresh shrimp {purchased at our local farmer’s market} with hearts of palm, mango, avocado, scallions, jalapenos, and toasted coconut served over a bed of spinach, topped with a vanilla vinaigrette {inspired by a dressing served at one of our favorite South Florida restaurants}.

Recipe creates 4 entree-sized portions.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12-ounce package Reese Medallion Cut Hearts of Palm
  • 2 mangos, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp butter

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. On a large sheet pan, spread out the shredded coconut. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut as the sugar would likely cause it to burn rather than toasting. Cook 4 minutes, stir, cook an additional 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, sauté your shrimp with one teaspoon butter in a sauce pan. Sautéing the shrimp gives it a golden color on the edges and seals in some of the juiciness while bringing out the flavor. We purchased these delicious red shrimp at our local farmer’s market. They are 21-25 count, which means they are large shrimp. I recommend using a larger shrimp for this recipe as it makes a beautiful plate of food. The shrimp should take about 5 minutes to cook {about 2 -3 minutes per side}, and then you can set them aside to cool.

Next, prep all of your fruits and vegetables. Try to create consistent bites of mango and avocado. They should each be about the same as the size of the medallion cut hearts of palm. Thinly slice your scallions and chiles as well. I opted for Anaheim, but jalapenos work just as well {or omit if you’re not into spicy foods}.

When the shrimp have cooled, I prefer them at room temperature for this recipe, begin to assemble your salads. First, create a bed of spinach or your favorite salad green. Rather than tossing in bowls, I prepared my salads on rectangular plates. I like that I can see everything I’m eating so I can make my own bites each time.

Prepare the Vanilla Vinaigrette by combining the ingredients in a high-speed blender until you reach a smooth consistency. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the Tropical Shrimp Salad, and serve the vanilla vinaigrette alongside your salad so you can drizzle over the top as desired.

Your Tropical Shrimp Salad is now ready to serve! It makes the *perfect* summertime lunch. You can even host a mid-day get-together in your home and serve it to your guests.

Try Reese Hearts of Palm and Artichoke Hearts in your favorite recipes. They are both great for salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes! Download the Ibotta app to earn rebates on Reese products.

What is your favorite summer salad?

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia (age 7) and Bryce (age 5). Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.
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