Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham’s Best Eats: Gulf shrimp bring sweetness to Greek salad


By Brian Heptinstall

In creating a recipe that best represents Alabama, I couldn’t help but think of the shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. The quality of the shrimp hasn’t suffered one bit despite the recent BP oil spill disaster.

Birmingham's Best EatsI came up with Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp, a simple, yet perfectly matched summer salad that takes a cue from Birmingham’s rich Greek culture.

The salad alone isn’t necessarily special, but the sweetness coming from the grilled shrimp adds another layer of flavor you can get only from the Gulf. For another great taste, try grilling these shrimp with Old Bay or Creole seasoning.

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Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp

Photo by Brian Heptinstall.

Greek Salad with Gulf Shrimp

  • Preparation time: 30-45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 4-6



  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil


  • 1 package spring salad mix
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 jar kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3-5 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Dressing: In a bowl, add all ingredients together except the olive oil. Mix well, and slowly add in oil while constantly stirring. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, be sure to stir again as the dressing might separate.

Salad: Place the spring/romaine mix in a bowl big enough to toss the salad. Add feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Refrigerate.

(Use your judgment in ingredient quantities for the salad. We suggest making the salad in layers.)

Place shrimp on skewers. Right before placing the shrimp on hot grill, drizzle with olive oil and lightly dust with salt and pepper (Old Bay or Creole seasoning would also be good). Grill shrimp until done, and remove from heat. (Be careful not to burn yourself when taking shrimp off the skewers.)

Add shrimp to the salad. Pour dressing, toss and serve.

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Brian HeptinstallGadsden native Brian Heptinstall (@bheptin) writes the AL.com blog Food and Farce and produces how-to videos featuring his favorite foods from Walt Disney World on A Taste of Disney. A classically trained chef, he has worked in several top kitchens including Mar-A-Lago, the Four Seasons, Il Cioppino Italian Restaurant and the PGA Resort and Spa.

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Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

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