Local Bibb Lettuce & Blackened Shrimp Toast With Tomato-Herb Vinaigrette
For blackening shrimp:
¼ cup blackening mix of your choice
¼ cup granulated sugar
18 shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
Canola oil for sauteeing
6 slices French bread, cut on the diagonal, buttered and toasted
9 ounces pimiento cheese
3 heads Bibb lettuce
18 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup julienned red peppers
½ cup Tomato Herb Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Salt and white pepper to taste
For blackening shrimp: In a small mixing bowl, whisk blackening mix with sugar until well-combined. Dredge shrimp in mix to coat both sides.
Place a small amount of canola oil (enough to coat the bottom) in a skillet or saute pan. Heat the pan until very hot but not burning. Place shrimp in pan and cook briefly on one side, just until they develop a nice char. Turn shrimp over, remove pan from heat and set aside.
For the salad: Spread surface of toasted bread slices with pimiento cheese. Set aside.
Tear lettuce into pieces and place in bowl with the julienned red peppers. Toss with a small amount of the Tomato-Herb Vinaigrette just until leaves glisten. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper to taste.
To plate: Divide salad among 6 plates, mounding the lettuce for better presentation. Garnish around each salad with six of the cherry tomato havles. Place 3 shrimp on top of each pimiento cheese toast and serve alongside the salad.
For Tomato Vinaigrette:
1 cup vinaigrette base (recipe follows; you will have more than you need. Reserve for later use.)
½ cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil and/or thyme
For vinaigrette base:
3 cups canola oil
1 cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup smooth Dijon mustard
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil with the rice wine vinegar and mustard until well-combined. Refrigerate up to two weeks.
Chef Robert Carter of Carter’s Kitchen and Rutledge Cab Co. has appeared on the Food Network and “Martha Stewart Living” and has been featured in numerous publications, including Food & Wine, Esquire, Bon Appetit and The New York Times.