Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recipe for Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado, Feta, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette

Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado, Feta, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette!
If you're a fan of capers, you'll love this Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado, Feta, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette!

(Updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions, August 2013.)  One interesting thing about blogging is how it becomes a record of what foods you're craving at different times of the year.  I've confessed how my mid-winter craving for tomatoes leads to recipes like  Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro.  It happened again in 2009, when I spotted the recipe for Greek Salad with Avocado, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette from Nick's Fishmarket Maui in the R.S.V.P. column in Bon Appetit Magazine, and tomatoes jumped into my basket the next time I was at Costco. I did enjoy those mid-winter tomatoes, but if you're making this in the summer with fresh garden tomatoes it will be even better!  Another ingredient that really made this salad special was the caper vinaigrette.  I adapted the restaurant's recipe a bit, but I'd never leave out the capers, which were a brilliant addition here.

I pulsed the capers, chopped roasted red pepper, and minced parsley in the food processor a few times, which I think helped spread those flavors throughout the vinaigrette.

Then put those things in a bowl and whisk in some Dijon, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. The restaurant makes the dressing a day ahead to let the flavors combine, which is probably a good idea if you can stand to wait.

This salad only needs about 1/2 cup of cooked shrimp, so it's not too hard on the budget.

Give the romaine a good wash in the salad spinner so it's nice and crisp.

This time I used a mix of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, which made the salad even more colorful.  I cut the tomatoes in half, but if you're rushed for time it wouldn't hurt to keep them whole.

Dice up an avocado.

Measure out 1/2 cup of crumbled Feta.

Toss the romaine with about 2 tablespoons of the Caper Vinaigrette.

Then add the avocado, tomatoes, and shrimp and a little more dressing and toss again.

Divide the salad into two serving bowls and sprinkle each with crumbled Feta.

And here's the original photo of this salad from 2009, which had serious white-balance issues!

Salad with Tomatoes, Avocado, Feta, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette
(Recipe adapted from Greek Salad with Avocado, Shrimp, and Caper Vinaigrette from Nick's Fishmarket Maui featured in Bon Appetit Magazine, March 2009.)

Dressing Ingredients:
(enough for at 6-8 salads but make it all so you can have the salad a few times)
4 oz. capers with juice (1/2 cup)
2 T minced roasted red pepper (from a jar)
2 T minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
(original recipe called for chopped boiled egg whites, which I couldn't convince myself was essential in this!)

Salad Ingredients: (2 servings)
1 large handful shredded romaine lettuce
1 avocado, diced
3-4 small tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Feta (or less)
1/2 cup cooked salad shrimp
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
(original recipe called for Maui onion, which sounded good but I didn't have any sweet onions.)

Put capers with liquid, minced roasted red pepper, and minced parsley in food processor with steel blade and pulse 20-30 seconds, until ingredients are coarsely chopped, then place ingredients in small plastic bowl. Stir in Dijon and red wine vinegar, then whisk in olive oil a little at a time, until vinaigrette is emulsified. (Make dressing a day ahead if desired. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Put chopped romaine lettuce into medium-sized salad bowl, add about 2 T dressing and toss until lettuce is well-coated with dressing. (It will seem like too much dressing until you add the other ingredients.) Add chopped avocado, tomatoes, and shrimp, along with 1-2 T more dressing and toss gently. Season to taste with fresh-ground black pepper.  Divide salad into two bowls and top each salad with crumbled feta.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This would make a great main-dish salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan. For phase two or three, add something like White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips if desired.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Interesting Recipes with Capers:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Crockpot Beef Stew with Olives, Garlic, Capers, and Tomatoes from Kalyn's Kitchen
Green Cauliflower Soup with Capers and Lemon from Lucullian Delights
Chicken Picatta with Fried Capers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Carrots with Capers from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Green Olives, and Capers from Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This post was originally submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by The Well-Seasoned Cook. If you're cooking with herbs or plants and want to participate, here are the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging.
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. sounds delicious, kalyn! it must be because it's winter but i swear i have been craving nothing but salads lately. this would hit the spot pretty much anytime.

  2. One of my all time favorite ingredients is capers. I've never made them in a a vinaigrette. What a great idea and I'm going to try it.

  3. The photo of the blend in the food processor...priceless!

    Feta and avocado are proving to be a wonderous pair.

  4. This would really brighten up the winter! I love the taste of capers - it's a crave-worthy flavor.

  5. That is a beautiful salad!!!! Certainly one that I wouldn't mind eating as a meal, YUM!

  6. Great salad!! The vinaigrette sounds delightful!!

  7. Boy, you hit the spot with this recipe! I rarely crave salads in the winter, but you got me with this one - love capers and shrimp and the thought of them together makes me HUNGRY. Thanks, Kalyn!

  8. I had to make this right away -- had everything on hand -- and what a wonderful combination it is. I didn't let the dressing sit overnight, but I do have some left and will use the rest tomorrow, so I'll be able to see if there's any difference. It was absolutely delicious as is.

  9. Glad people are liking this and love it that my buddy Lydia has already tried it. I'm out of avocados, but I still have some dressing so for lunch tomorrow I'm having the salad with just lettuce, tomatoes, feta, and shrimp.

  10. Zoe always puts avocado in her Greek salads. She says that if Greeks had historically had avocados, they would've loved them and used them in salad. So if you believe in the "multiverse" hypothesis, there's a whole universe where Greek salad always contains avocado.

    (Not to mention that avocado + shrimp = to die for.)

  11. I love the colors and flavors in this salad. Just made shrimp saganaki for dinner last night - the shrimp/tomato/feta combo is terrific!

  12. Oh my! This looks amazing, Kalyn!

    What a powerful flavor combo. I can't wait to try it!


    ~ Paula

  13. Love capers. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  14. My husband will absolutely love this. All of his favorite ingredeints, especially shrimp and capers. Also your photography is spot on! Thanks kalyn

  15. Capers are one of those ingredients that people often omit/overlook and yet they are so packed with flavor and interest. Will have to try this dressing.

  16. A bracing cure for the mid-winter blues. The wind's howling 'round the house now, but when I read this, it "almost" feels like summer.

    Thanks for the great WHB recipe!

  17. That is soo funny! that is the ONE recipe I tore out of that magazine. Will have to try it when I get over this flu. Glad to know it is a winner!

  18. Okay, now I'm craving tomatoes...
    Our new place is in the tomato center of France... I have hopes for this summer.

  19. What a great salad dressing - this sounds wonderful - it's now been added to my must-try list (you know I love my capers!)

  20. Thought I would report back that I've tried this dressing on a few other types of salads now including a mix of lettuces with arugula and a bean salad mixture and it seems delicious no matter what you put it on!

  21. That salad looks really good!

  22. Brilliant! I love capers, but never thought of smashing them into a vinaigrette!

    love this!

  23. Sally, glad you like it; I really love the dressing for this salad.


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