Food & Drink

Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Polenta Salad Recipe with Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing and Parmesan Crisps | What’s Cooking

Grilled shrimp salad with sweet corn, polenta, creamy roasted garlic dressing and Parmesan crisps from Nordstrom. | Photo by Jeff Powell

Succulent grilled shrimp. Seasonal at-their-peak ingredients. Herby, roasted garlic dressing and a nutty Parmesan crisp garnish. Combine them all, and meet the perfect summer lunch or dinner.

Ripe, red tomatoes and freshly picked sweet corn (especially grilled) are two of my favorite summer ingredients. I look forward to them all year, since they aren’t much worth bothering with any other time. So, when I saw this recipe, I had a pretty good feeling we’d be good friends.

Peppery baby arugula makes a delicious bed for all these flavorful salad components, including the grilled polenta croutons. And, with fresh herbs, garlic, scallions, a dash of mayo and the perfect amount of acid and sweetness, our light but creamy dressing that tops it all deliciously straddles the line between ranch and green goddess dressing. Substantial but not too heavy, this salad (also served at our Marketplace Café) has everything going for it. File this recipe under “Going to make again and again”.

Creamy garlic vinaigrette dressing recipe from Nordstrom with roasted garlic and herbs | Photo by Jeff Powell

Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Polenta Salad Recipe
From Nordstrom Marketplace Café and our Family Table Cookbook
(Makes 6 servings)

Parmesan Crisps
1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

To make the Parmesan Crisps, heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese in an even layer in the pan and cook until the edges turn golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Use a heatproof spatula to transfer the crisp to a prepared baking sheet and let cool. Repeat to make three more crisps. Coarsely crumble the crisps.

How to make Parmesan crisps recipe.

Creamy garlic dressing recipe from Nordstrom.

Creamy Garlic Dressing
1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 green onion, white and green parts, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon mashed Simple Roasted Garlic
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canola oil

To make the Creamy Garlic Dressing, combine the vinegar, mayonnaise, green onion, honey, roasted garlic, Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, dill, parsley, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the machine running, gradually add the oil in a thin, steady stream to form an emulsion.


Salad preparation and assembly
3 ears corn, husked
1 log (1 pound) store-bought polenta, cut into 3/4 inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
30 extra-large (16/20 count) shrimp, preferably wild-caught, about 1 + 2/3 pounds, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
Kosher salt for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound baby arugula
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to high. (See our guide to Master Charcoal Grilling.)


Brush the grill grate clean. Put the corn on the grill and close the lid. Grill, turning occasionally, until the corn is hot and the kernels are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the corn to a platter and let cool until easy to handle.


While the corn is cooling, lightly brush the polenta slices with olive oil. Add to the grill and cook, turning once, until seared with grill marks, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Grilled polenta recipe.

Working with one ear at a time, stand it upright, stem end down, on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut downward along the cob, removing the kernels and rotating the cob a quarter turn after each cut. Scoop the kernels into a bowl and discard the cob.


Meanwhile, toss the shrimp in the 1/4 cup olive oil and minced garlic in a shallow, nonreactive dish. Season with salt and pepper. For a charcoal grill, the coals should have burned down to a medium heat. (You should be able to hold your hand 1 inch above the grill grate for 3 seconds.) For a gas grill, adjust the heat to medium.

Easy grilled shrimp recipe

Drain the shrimp, discarding the marinade. Put the shrimp on the grill and cover. (A metal grill screen or flat-bladed metal skewers are helpful to keep the shrimp from falling through the grate.) Grill until the edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp and continue grilling until opaque throughout, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Cut the grilled polenta into 3/4 inch cubes. Combine the arugula, tomatoes and corn in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 cup of the dressing and toss. Add the Parmesan crisps and toss again. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 6 chilled salad bowls. Divide the shrimp and polenta cubes equally among the salads. Serve immediately.

Grilled shrimp salad with sweet corn, polenta, creamy roasted garlic dressing and Parmesan crisps from Nordstrom. | Photo by Jeff Powell

Grilled shrimp salad with sweet corn, polenta, creamy roasted garlic dressing and Parmesan crisps from Nordstrom. | Photo by Jeff Powell

Chef’s note: The recipe for Creamy Garlic Dressing makes about 1 1/2 cup, although you’ll need only 1 cup for this recipe. The dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days and used on other salads. Shake well before using.

Try these recipes and others at a Nordstrom restaurant near you, and find more recipes to make at home in our What’s Cooking series and Nordstrom cookbooks (available in selected Nordstrom restaurants and Ebars).

Have a favorite dish or beverage from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

—Jeff Powell (Photos and Intro)

Grilled shrimp salad with sweet corn, polenta, creamy roasted garlic dressing and Parmesan crisps from Nordstrom. | Photo by Jeff Powell