This blog post has been sponsored by the Vidalia Onion Committee. Links featured within, not inclusive of the official Vidalia Onion Committee website or previously sponsored content, are not sanctioned by the Vidalia Onion Committee.
Vidalia season is well underway, and let me just say that I have a recipe for you! Pan-Seared Shrimp and Veggie Rice Bowl with Vidalia Onions is a bowl full of flavors and textures ideal for the season. Choose your own grain as a base for this recipe, and the combination of colors and flavors will make this a regular in your recipe rotation this Vidalia season!
You might be asking, “What is Vidalia Onion season?”
Well, I’m so glad you’ve asked!
Adding Vidalia Onions to this recipe brings a slight sweetness and light flavor that gives a lovely contrast to pair with these summertime flavors and textures. The nutty texture of the grains and the smokiness of the pan-seared shrimp along with some of my favorite veggies for color and flavor – this is a combination I could eat all summer long! The sweetness of the Vidalia is exactly what sets these high quality onions apart from traditional ones, and that’s partly due to the fact that Vidalia onions are seasonal and can only be found during specific months and originate from a very specific region.
What makes Vidalia Onions so unique?
- Vidalia onions are a sweet, seasonal treat that is only available in the spring and summer months. The harvest hits stores in April and usually runs out of stock by August or September, so get them while you can!
- A true Vidalia onion can only be grown in the combination of weather, water and soil that is uniquely found within 20 South Georgia counties.
- Vidalia onions are hand planted and harvested, and the combination of weather, water, and soil conditions that are found in this region contributes to the low amount of sulfur in the soil. This is what causes the Vidalia onions to have a distinctive, sweeter flavor that transforms your recipes!
- In 1990 Vidalia Onions were named the state vegetable of Georgia and they are also known as America’s favorite sweet onion.
- Vidalia onions are so sweet that you can even eat them raw, just take a bite! They are available in grocers all across the country. Just look for the Vidalia onion sticker.
Elevate your summer recipes by picking up a few of these sweet and light flavored Vidalia onions next time you are shopping for your summertime staples and ingredients. Last year I shared this recipe for Creamy Cajun Sausage Pasta using Vidalia onions. It’s a family favorite and I’m so excited to continue making it this Vidalia season.
For this meal, I’d suggest using your favorite grains for the base such as brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley, or even a grain mixture. I used the same shrimp recipe from my shrimp tacos, because the flavor is so good and just goes so well with everything. Add in the creamy, ripe avocado, a pop of cherry tomatoes and cucumber, with roasted corn and bell peppers and the sweet, mild flavored Vidalia Onions. This is a great meal for lunch or even a lighter dinner. This will be your new favorite meal this summer!
- ¾ lb fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ¾ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- juice from half a lime
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon salted butter
- 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, roughly diced
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, roughly diced
- 1½ cup cooked grains (I used a brown rice/lentils/quinoa/farro mix)
- 2 large ripe avocados, diced
- 1 8-10 oz package cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 medium cucumber, diced and quartered
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- cooked shrimp (see recipe + ingredients above)
- ranch/sour cream mixture (optional)
- Lay the shrimp out flat, pat to dry. Season both sides of shrimp with the lemon pepper, garlic salt, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, marjoram, basil, and parsley. Squeeze the lime all over the shrimp.
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil and butter and heat in the pan over medium. Once melted, carefully add the shrimp. Allow it to sear on the pan for a few minutes without stirring, then carefully turn the shrimp over and sear the other side.
- Once both sides are cooked and slightly charred, stir the shrimp in the pan. The total cooking time for the shrimp should be about 5-7 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan, keeping the heat on the pan.
- Add the corn and bell pepper to the pan. Allow to char a bit the same as the shrimp did, stirring only every few minutes. Once the vegetables start to get some char marks, add the onions to lightly sauté, about 1-2 more minutes.
- Start to build your bowls with the cooked grains, adding the pan-seared vegetables, then the avocado, tomato, cucumber, and cilantro.
- Combine Olive oil, vinegars, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes in a bowl or small jar to add as a light dressing. Stir well into the bowl, then top with the pan-seared shrimp.
- (Optional) Add a creamy ranch/sour cream based dressing to balance out some of the spice in the bowl.
- Serves three large bowls. Enjoy!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO ENJOY VIDALIA ONIONS?
Do you add them to everything, or do you have a special recipe you like to use them for? I’d love to read some of your ideas in the comments with your favorite use of Vidalia Onions! If you still haven’t tried Vidalia’s, get them while you still can before the season ends!
Also, if you love this recipe don’t forget to PIN it to your favorite board on Pinterest!
(Just hover over the picture below and click “Pin it”)