Our menus depend a lot on what the weather is like. When it is cooler or cold outside, I make heavier, heartier foods that will warm us up from the inside out. When it is warmer, I make lighter foods that won’t weigh us down. Well, with the weather Colorado has been having lately, we are all over the place. The last time I made shrimp it was cool and crisp outside, but my husband really wanted something with shrimp. No problem. I made the paprika shrimp that came out great. Paprika Shrimp I had bought a 2-lb bag of the large 13-15 count shrimp and only used 1/2 of it for the paprika shrimp, meaning I still had 1/2 the bag left to use. I could not refreeze it since it was already thawed, so we had shrimp twice this week. Oh darn! Fortunately we love shrimp. It is one of our favorite seafoods. This time, however, the weather had changed dramatically once again, and now it was in the mid 70’s. I needed to make a dish that was lighter this time around. Since I had a lot of tomatoes, I decided to make a tomato herb vinaigrette to use as a marinade for the shrimp and made kebabs.
Vinaigrettes are very easy to make. Just mix everything together and in only a couple of minutes you have made a delicious vinaigrette.
Tomato Herb Vinaigrette
3-4 tomatoes, cut in large dice
1 TBSP garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
5-7 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp each fresh thyme and oregano – dried is fine too
Mix everything together in a food processor until everything is blended and liquified, and voila! Your vinaigrette is made.
You can use it as either a marinade for chicken, fish or vegetables, or as a a dressing for salads. It’s very tasty, very healthy and very easy to make. It’s a win/win all the way around. I used it as a marinade for my shrimp kebabs, but I have plenty left over for a delicious salad too. Because of the acidity in this vinaigrette, or most vinaigrettes for that matter, if using it as a marinade, particularly for shrimp or seafood, do not let it marinade for longer than about 30-60 minutes or it will break down the delicate proteins of the shrimp and seafood, and will “cook” them before you actually apply any heat. If using it as a marinade for chicken, it can marinate for about 4 hours and it will still be fine. You actually want those proteins to break down because it will also act as a tenderizer.
I grilled them shrimp and served it over lentils, topping it with more sauce. I served it alongside some asparagus topped with more tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic and onions (one of mys favorite ways to eat my asparagus), warmed bread and a glass of chardonnay. It was the perfect way to end the day. Although the flavor of the shrimp and lentil combination was delicious, I probably should have chosen something different than red lentils, because everything on the plate was red. It’s all about the presentation, you know. 🙂 But it all tasted great, and in the end, the taste is really what matters most.