This is an excellent summertime salad, but the prep is a little time consuming. I would recommend a mini chop-chop to chop up all the vegetables – it saves a ton of time. Also, in case you’re not going to eat the entire salad and you’re hoping for some left overs, don’t combine all the ingredients – I kept the shrimp, dressing, and croutons separated from the vegetables and only mixed them together when I was ready to eat that particular portion.
2 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 garlic cloves
2 red peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 green pepper
1/2 red onion
6 slices rustic bread, crust temoved and cut into cubes
Salad dressing: I use olive oil, vinegar and some Dijon mustard, but you can use whatever you like.
Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add some spices, lemon juice and peppercorns to the pot. Boil for a few minutes. Add the shrimp and boil for about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp and plunge into an ice bath. Drain them, cut them in half, cover them and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Place 3 cloves of garlic into a food processor. Add one bell pepper and one tomato. Pulse until a paste forms. Pour into a large serving bowl.
Mince the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and set aside for the croutons.
Chop up the tomatoes with the chop chop and put them in a separate bowl. Sprinkle them with some salt and let them sit for a bit. Drain them of any excess liquid. Add them to the pureed vegetables in the serving bowl.
Chop up the remaining red peppers, the green pepper, the onion and the cucumber with the mini chop chop. Add to the pureed vegetables in the serving bowl. Add some salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix all together.
In a saucepan, heat some oil. Add the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic. Add the bread cubes and cook until the bread is crispy and toasted on all sides. Sprinkle some salt over the top.
When ready to serve, combine the vegetables, shrimp, dressing and croutons in a plate. Drizzle some more olive oil if desired.