Grilled Shrimp and Green Bean Salad

My sister spent the night about a week ago, and as I told you before, all we did was cook.  If anyone knows my sister, you know that she will eat nothing but healthy food.  I feel the same, except you might catch me eating more “sweets” than she does.  So after flipping through one of our Southern Living cookbooks, we found this healthy recipe called Grilled Shrimp and Green Bean Salad.
I must admit, this is one of my favorite dinner recipes yet.  I kept raving about it to my husband (who liked this), and my mom.  The unique combination of bacon, almonds, green beans, and shrimp is absolutely delicious and makes for a wonderful meal to serve to a crowd on a nice summer evening.  It is light, flavorful, and succulent.  I don’t have a grill (and am scared of them), so I grilled my shrimp on the stovetop in a Le Creuset grill pan.  They turned out wonderfully.
I highly recommend making this salad for the spring and summer time as the weather gets warmer.  It is not one to disappoint.  Enjoy!
To make the basil vinaigrette, combine all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Place crumbled, cooked bacon and salted almonds in a bowl.
After marinating shrimp in half of the basil vinaigrette for 15 minutes, grill shrimp on stove or grill for about 2 minutes per side, until they turn pink.
Meanwhile, cook green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Plunge in ice water to stop cooking process.  Drain.  Add shrimp and green beans to the large bowl with almonds and bacon.  Pour remaining basil vinaigrette on top.
Serve with warm and toasted corn bread.

Grilled Shrimp and Green Bean Salad
8 (12-inch) wooden skewers (optional)
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 pounds peeled, medium-size raw shrimp
*Basil Vinaigrette, divided
6 cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1 1/3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (we omitted)
3/4 cup chopped roasted, salted almonds
Cornbread (optional: we used Perfect Corn Bread)

Basil Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
4 large shallots, minced (we used red onions)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup olive oil

Whisk together balsamic vinegar and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl until blended; gradually add olive oil, whisking constantly until blended.

1.  Soak wooden skewers in water to cover 30 minutes.
2.  Cook green beans in boiling salted water to cover 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.  Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain, pat dry, and place in a large bowl.
3.  Combine shrimp and 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and chill 15 minutes, turning occasionally.  Remove shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade.  Thread shrimp onto skewers.
4.  Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees F) 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink.  Remove shrimp from skewers; toss with green beans, bacon, Parmesan cheese, almonds, and remaining 3/4 cup Basil Vinaigrette.  Serve over hot cornbread, if desired.

Yield:  4 to 6 servings
Southern Living

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