Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This weekend I am heading to the mountains in Southern California for a blogging conference and a whole gamut of emotions is playing havoc with my mind…excitement, insecurity, fear; you name it. Mostly I feel inadequate.

Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado The honest truth is, most days when wading into the blogging pond, I feel like a fish swimming upstream, struggling against the current, without the slightest clue of what I’m doing. I stress about whether I’m staying on task, paying enough attention to Search Engine Optimization, or where the perfect balance lies for pinning my posts on Pinterest. 

Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado All the unknowns and unanswered questions can make my head spin, my heart beat faster, and leave me with an uncertainty of what to do next. My blogging thus far has been kinda like the analogy of the blind squirrel and the acorn, every once in a while I bring one home.

Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado It was much different in my former career as an operating room nurse. After all, I had been in the nursing profession for 18 years. Here, I was well respected, knew my job inside and out, and on most days, didn’t suffer from any lack of self confidence whatsoever. 

Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado I knew exactly what needed to be done and set about doing it…I was the one someone might come to looking for answers, not the other way around. I was good at what I did and I knew it, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took years of practice, learning and self discipline. I had to stretch myself to get over my fear of standing up to doctors when needed, and hone my skills of observation to give the very best care I could to my patients.

Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado

And so, I find it is time to stretch myself once again; re-learn how to be relaxed outside my comfort zone and acknowledge it is okay when I don’t  have all the answers. Most importantly, I need to continue putting one foot in front of the other and not get discouraged when the road gets rough. A step backwards now and again is not unusual. This is a journey, and one that I am fortunate and happy to be on. I have the privilege and opportunity to do what I love, and so I have already won! Therein lies my true success.

Today’s  recipe is all about cold and fresh.  Gazpacho is so deliciously complex with multiple flavors to tantalize the taste buds. Use only the freshest of ingredients and serve well chilled for best results. Recipe adapted from The Art of Mexican Cooking by Jan Aaron & Georgine Sachs Salom.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • lemon juice from ½ lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 5 almonds, blanched
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper oil
  • 3 Pounds ripe tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup green pepper, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large cucumber,peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups good quality tomato juice
  • ¼ cup good quality red wine vinegar
  • 2 large avocados, peeled and cut into large chunks
  1. Heat grill or broiler to 400 degrees (high heat).
  2. Place shrimp in plastic ziploc bag. add lemon juice, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch or two of sea salt.
  3. Close bag and gently shake to allow shrimp to be well covered with marinade. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove shrimp from bag and place on skewers.
  5. Place shrimp on grill (or in broiler) for about 5 - 6 minutes, turning once about midway through cooking, until shrimp is bright pink in color. (do not overcook or shrimp may have a rubbery texture).
  6. When pink, remove shrimp from grill.Allow to cool for 5 minutes, remove from skewers. Cover and refrigerate.
  7. Meanwhile, place blanched almonds, garlic and chili oil in pestle (or on cutting board) and mash until ingredients becomes a paste.
  8. Place in the bottom of a medium sized earthenware or pottery bowl.
  9. Place tomatoes on broiler pan, and broil for 5 minutes or until tops of tomatoes begin to singe and split. Turn tomatoes and broil, doing the same as above to the other side.
  10. Remove tomatoes from broiler and allow to cool for several minutes.
  11. Peel tomatoes, and chop into large chunks, taking care not to crush the tomatoes and reserving juice from the tomato.
  12. Place all into bowl with almond and garlic paste.
  13. Add onions, peppers, cucumbers, olive oil, tomato juice and red wine vinegar.
  14. Stir gently until combined.
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours to allow flavors to blend.
  17. Once soup has chilled and when ready to serve; ladle into large bowls and top with 3 or 4 large shrimp and chunks of avocado.
  18. Serve immediately.


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  1. says

    Hello Shari, I appreciate so much how you shared a bit about you, what a remarkable woman; I am excited to get to know you better. The recipe looks delish and I pinned it. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  2. says


    I have always been a fan of your blog and here is another example why. The fresh ingredients look so good they should make everyone eat more fruits and vegetables. I am NOT the healthiest eater, but I do eat my fruits and vegetables and nothing is better than fresh ones. I also love shrimp. This looks like a great combination.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Diane Roark

    • says

      Thank you Diane. Fresh always tastes better in my opinion. It does make it easier to eat your fruits and veggies. Thank you for stopping by!

    • says

      Thanks for providing the chuckle for today Janine; I am glad you like shrimp! :) I will be sure to head over and see your latest post. I keep telling myself it is never too late to prepare for the bathing suit season…this years the year!

  3. KC Kahn the Kitchen Chopper says

    I think this recipe is so California. As a SoCal girl, I love the flavors you’ve chosen. Thank you so much for linking to #theWeekendSocial and I see I am on your “linky” list. That makes me so happy! I’m off to pin your gorgeous recipe. Hope to see you again next week!

  4. says

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing at the Thursday SWEET HAUTE Share!!!
    Hope you visit tonight and link your new posts….
    This looks so refreshingly amazingly yum!

    ~Be Sweet
    Blogger at SWEET HAUTE

  5. says

    Shari your blog is so wondeful and I love your recipes and writing style. I don’t think you have anything to be insecure about. You really do have a wonderful blog filled with lovely stories and pictures. Thanks for sharing on Merry Mondays.

    • says

      Thanks Renee. I agree. It is a perfect summer dish that is great with or without the grilled shrimp and avocado. I am looking forward to my an abundance of garden fresh tomatoes to make it again.

  6. says

    Hello from Merry Mondays new co-host. You have such a cute blog! I have bookmarked a few of your articles to read later. You have really found your niche and have a wonderful writing style. Please come and visit us again!

    • says

      Thanks Marilyn, you are so sweet! It is always a bit easier when you love what you do. I appreciate you stopping by and your kind comments are much appreciated.

  7. says

    Hi Shari! I’m stopping over from Let’s Get Real today. Let me just start by saying you are more than “good enough”. I love reading your posts. You have such fantastic recipes. I look forward to hearing more about your blogging conference. This recipe sounds so good. Nice and cool for summer, but with a nice mix of flavor. Nothing boring about this recipe. That’s for sure!

    • says

      Thanks Christina. The conference was great and I learned so many new things. I cant wait to put them into practice. I appreciate you taking the time to stop in and your thoughtful comments. It gives me encouragement to keep on moving forward. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. says

    Sooooo many of my favorite flavors. I love avocado! My husband thinks I need to start a website just for my avocado addition. I don’t think its quite that bad! Pinned and thank you for linking up with me at The Yuck Stops Here party!

    • says

      The avocado is one of my favorites too. I am missing the little avocado grove I had when I lived in So California…loved picking those green lovelies right out my back door. Thanks for stopping by and the wonderful party.

    • says

      Thanks Joan, I returned home from the conference last night and learned so much! I can’t wait to start putting some of this new knowledge into practice. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. says

    First, the recipe looks wonderful. Second, thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful and thoughtful post. It is comforting to know that there are bloggers out there that feel like they struggle. I too, feel like a fish out of water every time I write a blog post, or look at the beautiful pins on Pinterest. Thank you for your encouraging words. Have a blessed weekend and thank you for linking up at Party in Your PJs.

    • says

      Thanks Kim. I suspect even some of the best bloggers feel insecurity at times. We are in good company. I have to keep reminding myself of this, especially when I get discouraged. Thanks for stopping in, I have enjoyed being able to participate in Party in your Pj’s and I am continuing to spread the word.

  10. says

    I know how you are feeling. It is like you were reading my mind when I read this post. I was also very comfortable in my former position for a long time. I was a chef for many years. You might laugh, thinking, what’s the problem then, but the blogging is totally different. Many times I will avoid leaving my kitchen to post a recipe, because I feel at home with the food. I understand it. But taking the leap from developing and cooking to blogging is tough and scary. But it is fun and rewarding when I “get” it. I imagine you will have a wonderful time at the conference, and it will be nice to be able to put a real face to blog names. Have a great time. I love this recipe, by the way. I can’t wait to make it for my husband!
    (comment recreated due to server issues and failure to post on original comment. Exact duplicate of comment posted at Thu 5/15/2014 8:47 PM)

    • says

      Thanks Teri for sharing. It is nice to know I am not alone and someone else understands what I am going through. Somehow it makes the difficult moments a little easier to deal with. It will be strange to be unplugged for the conference, but I am looking forward to a little real face time with something besides my computer screen. Should be fun. Thanks again for writing, I love making new friends.

  11. says

    Your blog is gorgeous Shari, as is your food! You sure look like you know what you’re doing to me, enjoy the conference!

  12. says

    G’day! I LOVE shrimp called prawns here and could go for trying your recipe right now!
    Thanks for the link back and mention!
    I hope to see you at next week’s Party and am sharing the love today!
    Cheers! Joanne
    (comment re-created due to server issues. Original comment was posted on May 15, 2014 at 1:30 am)

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Joanne. I always enjoy visiting your site and reading your posts.
      They make me laugh and leave a smile on my face all day. Blessings…Shari

  13. says

    A recipe and an inspiring post all in one. Thanks for sharing both. I too am stepping out of my comfort zone of 30 years. I wish us both the best!!

    Have a great day!

    • says

      Thanks Bobbi. It is always a little scary moving in a new direction.We will need a touch of luck and a lot of hard work! I’ve seen your site and I know you are already well on your way…Thanks for stopping in!

    • says

      Ha, would love to share but I don’t think it will keep cold in my suitcase :) Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to meeting you and all the great bloggers at Camp Blogaway. See you soon!

  14. says

    You’re doing a wonderful job on your blog and your love for blogging/sharing shows. Thanks so much for sharing this on Tasty Tuesday.

    • says

      Thanks Erlene. I appreciate your stopping by. It is obvious you are enjoying doing the same. Keep up the good work and be sure to take some time to enjoy it too!

  15. says

    Looking forward to meeting you at Camp Blogaway this weekend! It’s such a relaxing weekend, but stimulating and fun at the same time. It’s exciting to meet so many creative and talented people…welcoming, generous, and down-to-earth.


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