Za’atar Rubbed Shrimp Salad with Tahini Caesar Dressing

Before C and I head East tomorrow, I want to share just one more tasty recipe with you. This is a Rachael Ray riff, and although I know it’s not cool to speak of Rachael Ray, especially on food blogs, I’ve got to give her some props for continuously turning out easy, delicious and up-to-date food.  But, I promise, I’m not giving her props for her Trisket, Dunkin’ Donuts, and now, Ziploc (!) endorsements.  (And I bet she wishes she never did that Burger King ad either, or that orange cookware).  Someone should explain the concept of over saturation to the poor (I mean rich) girl.  Now I’ve gone and turned praise into criticism.  Oh well, what I’m trying to say is that she should just stick with food.

She made this on her CBS talk show about a month ago, with chicken, and what struck me most was that it was an opportunity to use the sumac I had purchased on a whim at the latest and greatest foodie haven in A2 (I just noticed their tagline says “Manhattan meets Ann Arbor”-hee hee).  I think I was going to make this salad but since my brain is my mixed up spread sheet, I can’t be sure. And I have a tendency to splurge on ingredients as some do on shoes. That’s the story of how my sumac came to be.

Perhaps the best bit about this recipe, though, is how absolutely stunning it was the next day.

As for that trip East, more on that in the next post, but let me just say that we’ll be chasing Ina. I can hardly wait.


Serves 4. Adapted from the  Rachael Ray show.

For the rub

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. sumac (or smoked paprika and zest of 1 lime)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • zest of one lemon
  • Olive oil

For the dressing

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini + 2 Tbsp. water for thinning
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. anchovy paste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 grated fresh grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • 2 heads chopped romaine
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • pita chips (optional)

Start by mixing the spices in a bowl (sesame seeds through lemon zest).  In a larger bowl, drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil over the shrimp and season with salt and pepper.  Rub the spice mixture over the shrimp and refrigerate for at least an hour, if you can.

In the meantime, prepare the romaine and soak the red onion in water for 20 minutes to take away the harsh bite.

You can prepare the dressing one of two ways.  If all will be eaten in one sitting, prepare the dressing in a large salad bowl.  If you intend to have leftovers, prepare it in a separate bowl.

Either way, start by rubbing the bowl with a smashed clove of garlic.  Add the tahini and water. Whisk until the tahini has a smooth consistency.  Add the lemon juice, soy sauce, anchovy paste, and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil.  The dressing should be thick but pourable.  Add a little more water if it’s not.

Now you have a choice.  The original recipe calls for adding the grated cheese to the dressing, which I did, but it gave it a weird consistency. Next time I might save the cheese for sprinkling on the salad instead.

Finally, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over a medium high flame.  Add the shrimp and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are done (they will curl up and turn pink).  Avoid overcooking them.

If using the bowl method, add the greens to the dressing and toss. Top with shrimp and cheese.  Otherwise, serve components in separate bowls and the dressing in a gravy boat and allow diners to compose their own salad, allowing for leftovers.



About Liza M.

foodie, francophile, Ann Arborite, teacher, bookworm and self-professed latte-lover--come cook with me!
This entry was posted in salads, Seafood. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Za’atar Rubbed Shrimp Salad with Tahini Caesar Dressing

  1. Pat says:

    Enjoy your break. Postcard from the Biltmore is in the mail. xo

  2. La Torontoise says:

    Liza, have a great Easter time!!
    How nice you have no work tomorrow!
    All the best this weekend!
    PS. I’m trying to make macarons (au chocolat) to warm up my soul, it’s sooo cold here…

  3. Sara Louise says:

    It looks delicious and perfect for spring!

  4. Megan says:

    i have heard so much about tahini lately…and it hasnt reached norway quite yet. this makes me want to go on a hunt for it in a major way!!!

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