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Part paella, part panzanella, all good

Shrimp panzanella salad, with avocado and sourdough bread
Shrimp panzanella salad, with avocado and sourdough bread

My idea was simple – combine the best attributes of bready panzanella salad with the briny goodness of seafood paella. And I wanted it all done on the grill.

It turned out to be easier, faster and far more delicious than I expected.

The two main ingredients – sourdough bread and peeled extra-large shrimp – were simple. I gave each a quick toss in flavorful (and complementary) marinades, then popped them on the grill for a few minutes. I wanted the bread just lightly toasted and the shrimp just barely cooked.

After that, It was just a matter of combining them with some chopped tomatoes, a garlicky vinaigrette and – because I felt we hadn’t yet mixed enough cultures into the pot – a couple of diced avocados. The result was out of this world.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of the ingredient list. There’s nothing unusual here and the recipe comes together quickly.

Shrimp And Avocado Panzanella

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 10

For the vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

4 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and ground black pepper

For the bread:

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

20-ounce loaf sourdough bread

For the shrimp:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 pound large or extra-large shrimp

For the salad:

2 large tomatoes, cored and diced

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

1 small red onion, diced

Heat the grill to medium-high.

To prepare the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, tasting as you go. Set aside.

To prepare the bread, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and salt. Cut the sourdough into thick slices. Use a pastry brush to coat both sides of each slice with the oil mixture. Set aside.

To prepare the shrimp, in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly.

Head out to the grill. Add the bread and toast for about 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, use tongs to arrange the shrimp on the other side of the grill. Cook the shrimp until just pink and firm, about 2 minutes per side.

Remove the bread to a cutting board and cut into bite-size cubes. Transfer the bread and cooked shrimp to a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, avocados and onion, then gently toss.

Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette, then toss again to coat well. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 550 calories; 330 calories from fat (60 percent of total calories); 37 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 70 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 5 g fiber; 680 mg sodium.

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