When my friend Lauren, asked me to guest blog for her Friday Segment “Meat Free Fridays” I seized the opportunity. Lauren has a fantastic blog called Healthy Delicious and every day she posts the most amazing pictures of her genius and delectable culinary adventures. Thinking I needed to give myself a bit of a culinary boost, I started brainstorming. Her original idea called for Shrimp, so i took it from there.
Its amazing how your mind goes from one thing to the next so rapidly. Thinking about shrimp got me thinking about a fra dibalo and fra diablo got me thinking about tomatoes and then sundried tomatoes…
And I was immediately brought back to my days when I was event planning. I had the opportunity to taste the finest cuisines for the sake of an event for my boss’ boss. I remembered the day, it was spring. It was raining. The caterer was late and his office was small. But he had 4 trays of upscale deli food that to this day make my mouth water when I think of them. Of all the things I tried that day, I will never forget the incredible salad that he presented to us. A smoke mozzarella salad with a sundried tomato vinagrette.
After several at home attempts to make this dressing, I finally got it down and Im going to share it with you as a part of the Meat -Free Friday Madness!
1 lb of shrimp
4 oz of shredded smoked mozzarella
4 cups of mesclin lettuce
for Dressing:
1 small shallot – minced
1/2 cup of olive oil
3 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar (i used white wine vinegar)
1 oz of sun dried tomatoes – finely chopped
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste.

In your food processor, pulse the shallot, vinegar, and sundried tomatoes, till they become “pasty” and while the processor is on low, slowly pour in the olive oil until the dressing reaches the consistency that you desire. I like mine thick.

Now that you have your dressing, we can begin assembling the salad.
With you cleaned, shelled, and deveined shrimp, drizzle some olive oil, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and place and place on a screaming hot pan to grill. I use a stovetop grill pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Over cooked shrimp is the worst. Good rule of thumb: if the shrimp curls into a letter “C” its cooked… if you see a letter “O” its Overcooked. Once the shrimp are cooked, set them aside to slightly cool.

Chop and rinse your greens. Add your greens to a large bowl and sprinkle smoked mozzarella on top. Add your dressing and lightly toss the salad to coat the lettuce. Serve salad onto desired plate and garnish with grilled shrimp.
What I love most about this dressing paired with the smoked cheese is that it makes this salad taste like bacon. The shrimp together with this dressing is delicious!
Lauren, I hope I did you proud on Meat-Free Friday!