And it pairs perfectly with this grilled shrimp and lettuce salad.

By Bridget Hallinan
August 07, 2020
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Photo: Eric Wolfinger

Grilling season is one of the best parts of summer, and this gorgeous salad from our Culinary Director-at-Large, Justin Chapple, definitely makes the most of it. Grilled shrimp, grilled corn, grilled lettuces—even the green goddess dressing that finishes it off has a grilled element, thanks to charred scallions and parsley. While the dressing normally calls for fresh herbs, taking this extra step of grilling imparts a delicious smoky flavor. Justin describes the resulting salad as hearty, but still light, and it should definitely be in your meal rotation before the season is over.

Below, we’ve gathered some of Justin’s tips and suggestions for making the dish.

Lightly Char the Scallions and Parsley…

When you grill the scallions and parsley, Justin recommends laying them across the grates crosswise so that they don’t slip through. You don’t want to over-grill them—the trick, he explains, is to quickly grill them until they just start to char so you can achieve a balance of slightly smoky flavor and fresh herb flavor.

…But Don’t Grill the Basil

You’ll notice that while the scallions and parsley are charred in this recipe, the fresh basil leaves are not—instead, they’re added straight to the food processor with the other dressing ingredients. “The basil doesn’t hold up well to the grill,” Justin says, “because it just obliterates the flavor.” Parsley, on the other hand, has an “already intense flavor” that does stand up to the charring.

Use This Trick for Greener Dressing

Charring the parsley will make the dressing look a little less green than it normally would, so if you want to preserve some of the color, Justin suggests grilling half of it and keeping the other half fresh.

No Basil or Scallions? No Problem

If you don’t have basil, Justin says you can use a tablespoon or two of prepared pesto in its place as a shortcut. Shallot can also be swapped in for the scallions—just cut it into thin wedges and char them on the grill, and you can add them to the food processor.

Feel Free to Switch Up the Proteins

If you don’t want to grill the shrimp, you can use already-cooked shrimp instead, or even rotisserie chicken. In general, if you want to swap in a different protein for the salad, Justin recommends sticking with something “lean and mild-flavored,” such as chicken breasts or thighs, pork loin, or grilled firm tofu. While steak would be tasty with the dressing separately (as you’ll see below), Justin says it might compete too much with the other ingredients in the salad.

Other Uses for the Dressing

The dressing can be made separately from this salad, and Justin says you can try it with dishes such as grilled chicken, steak, and fish. With several weeks of summer still left, there’s plenty of time to experiment.