Love a good bowl? I’ve deconstructed the flavors of a bowl onto a rice plate with this Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Brown Rice.
Bowls have been the darling of the food world for the last few years. They can be found on many restaurant menus from fast food chains to cafes. Supermarkets proudly stack and an assortment of them in their deli sections. What’s not to like? They’re a full meal in one bowl. But think about it, we’ve all been eating bowls for years. Remember the magic your mother could make with leftover rice, meat, sautéed vegetables and a mystery sauce she quickly whipped up? Well in my case it was my grandmother. My mother was a terrible cook, and her crispy, chewy rice would have had a mild taste of…burnt.
I often order a bowl at one of my favorite local cafes. Eating a bowl there always feels so LA. I usually sit outside on the black and white encaustic tile patio. Fuchsia pink bougainvillea, spills over the cement walls as I sip chilled Rosé from Provence. To add to the ambiance, a song like “To Let Myself Go” by The Avener softly plays in the background. Ok, you can roll your eyes now or stay with me. It’s all so civilized until my bowl arrives at my table. I see it and spear the first bite with my fork. I blink, and it’s gone…devoured. What just happened? I must have had a bowl blackout in between. This bowl is ridiculously good every time.
Whenever I have a delirious food experience, I have to figure out how to recreate the dish and put my stamp on it. Here’s my version of the LA Black Out Bowl (that’s not the real name of the dish on the menu). There’s one big difference. There’s no bowl involved. I’ve deconstructed it, by using a ramekin to form the rice into an oval shape. My salad is on a rice plate. The same flavor inspirations used in my favorite bowl at the cafe, different presentation. My version has peppery arugula, fresh Italian parsley, Persian cucumber, Roma tomato, avocado and grilled shrimp. It’s all tossed together with a balsamic vinaigrette, then gently placed on a brown rice plate.
I figured out my version of the LA Blackout Bowl. Now all I have to do is retile a portion of my patio, plant bougainvillea, sit outside, play house music and eat my deconstructed blackout bowl at home.
WHAT TO GATHER
Olive oil or canola oil – to lightly oil the ramekin
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For Grilled Shrimp
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby arugula, packed
1 cup fresh parsley, washed, leaves pick and stems discarded
1 cup Persian cucumbers, quartered and sliced
1 Roma tomato, deseeded and diced
1 avocado diced
Oval or round ramekins
- You can just make this dish into a bowl, but why not switch things up a bit. I used an oval ramekin but you can round ramekin to form the rice.
- How to make the rice plate – Grease the ramekin with a small amount of olive or canola oil. Spoon the rice into the ramekin, packing it down firmly. Don’t fill the to the top. Keep a 1/4″ space from the top of the ramekin. Cover with a small salad plate then gently flip the ramekin. You can also cover with a small piece of plastic wrap and flip the ramekin to release the rice. The rice should easily slip out and hold together.
Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Brown Rice
Yield Serves 4
2 cups of cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Shrimp with Garlic
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups baby arugula, packed
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, washed, leaves pick and stems discarded
- 1 cup Persian cucumbers, quartered and sliced
- 1 Roma tomato, deseeded and diced
- 1 avocado diced
To Make Rice Plates
- Grease the ramekin with a small amount of olive or canola oil.
- Spoon the rice into the ramekin, packing it down firmly. Don't fill them to the top. Keep a 1/4" space from the top of the ramekin.
- Cover with a small salad plate then gently flip the ramekin. You can also cover with a small piece of plastic wrap and flip the ramekin to release the rice. The rice should easily slip out and hold together.
To Prepare Salad
- In a small bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, honey. Whisk together. Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined well. Season with salt and pepper. You can also combine ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Set vinaigrette aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well until combined.
- Add shrimp and gently coat them with the mixture and set aside.
- Lightly oil a grill pan and preheat over medium-high heat.
- Grill shrimp for 2 - 3 minutes each side until opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and let cool slightly.
- Set aside 4 whole grilled shrimp to place on top of salad. Dice remaining shrimp into small bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula, parsley, cucumbers tomatoes and avocado. Gently toss.
- Pour the desired amount of vinaigrette over salad and toss until evenly coated. Add in the chopped grilled shrimp and gently toss again.
Take one oval rice plate and top with the desired amount of salad. Top with one whole grilled shrimp. Repeat for the remaining 3 rice plates. Serve immediately.