Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing cooking with cocktail rings

Grilled Avocado & Shrimp Salad with Winter Citrus Dressing

This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.

California avocados are one of the healthiest fruits grown and are in season from spring through fall.   I am lucky because I can get fresh avocados when I shop at the the Santa Monica farmers market which is just a few blocks away from my apartment and operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  

Being close to a farmers market allows me to often enjoy cooking in a style called “California cuisine”, an iconic cuisine that includes freshly prepared local ingredients as one of its basics. And, by using fresh and colorful California fruits and vegetables in my recipes, I meet my goal of “fresh and delicious”.

When shopping for avocados, look for ones that are firm but “give” slightly when gently squeezed in your hand. You can also remove the top stem, though I prefer to call it a nub, at the top of the avocado – if you remove it and it is green, it’s most likely ready to eat. If it’s brown then it’s probably overripe. If you’re doing your shopping on Sunday night and aren’t planning on using the avocados until the end of the week, buy firmer avocados so they can ripen without becoming overripe by the time they are used.

In this recipe I grill the avocado until grill marks develop so it has a smoky, charred flavor. The avocado pairs well with the bright, acidic notes of the citrus and crisp, slightly sweet licorice flavor of the fennel. And, since I’ve been on a shrimp kick recently, I added pan-seared shrimp to this salad for an easy and quick topping.


For the dressing:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt, to taste


For the shrimp:

1 pound (21/25) jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt, as needed

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon unsalted butter


For the salad:

1 large Haas avocado

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt, as needed

5 ounces wild arugula

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

½ medium grapefruit, segmented

1 small blood orange, segmented



For the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, grapefruit juice, champagne vinegar and garlic until the mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. You may have to whisk again before serving.


For the shrimp:

Season the shrimp with cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt then add the shrimp to the pan. Sauté, turning once until the shrimp are no longer grey and opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

For the salad:

Heat a grill or griddle pan over medium-high heat. Halve the avocado and remove the pit. Brush the avocado with the olive oil and place, cut side down, on the grill or griddle pan and cook, unmoved until grill marks develop, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.

Add the arugula and fennel and grapefruit to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the dressing (add more if necessary) and toss to combine. Slice the avocado and add to the bowl. Toss to combine and top with the shrimp. Serve immediately.


Serves 4.


This post is sponsored by California Avocado Commission. – all opinions expressed are my own. 



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