Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

 

shrimp asparagus egg salad

shrimp asparagus egg salad

This salad is a major treat especially on a warm spring day when asparagus are in peak season!

At this time of year, it’s one of our favorite main dinner dishes. Of course, this also makes a delish special luncheon for your very best ladies who lunch. (<*

The ingredients are simple and the preparation pretty easy. The key ingredient is use the freshest you can find!

(If shellfish are a problem you can substitute tuna.)

Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 cups lettuce (your choice, but I suggest at least some Romaine for crunch. Also as you might know, best to tear off leaves and tear up with your hands rather than a knife, especially if not using a whole head. Somehow the knife use makes the remaining lettuce turn brown faster- not sure why–if someone knows the details please let me know.)
  • 1 avocado, chopped or sliced
  • 1/3 red onion, chopped ( not too fine)
  • 1/2 lb. Bay shrimp cooked, rinsed and cooled the little guys)- put in fridge at least 1 hr. Ahead of serving ( I buy them cooked and cooled, but still rinse as they can be salty)
  • 4-6 med Prawns, cooked, peeled and cooled
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. Green asparagus, cooked but still crisp, and cooled ( blanched is best– cook until crisp, then dunk right away in ice water to keep the color and crispness). Chop into 1″ pieces, leaving 4-6 spears whole for garnish.
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of I lemon ( you can use 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Tarragon, savory and/or Herbs de Provence; salt free seasonings and pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. At least one hour in advance of serving time, boil the egg, let cool or place in fridge ( can be done a day in advance ), when prep time, slice or chop and set aside. ( leave 3-4 round pieces for garnish)

2. Wash, spin and tear lettuce into bite sized pieces, put into serving bowl.

3.  Prepare dressing; add garlic to oil, whisk in juice, mustard, spices and seasonings. ( can be made ahead and re-wisked)

4. Right before serving add Bay shrimp, chopped asparagus, chopped egg and chopped onion to lettuce.

At this point, dress and toss ( this is a trick I learned from a catering assistant, Maggie, my partner Rick’s daughter; dress the basic salad first, then add the toppings/garnishes, so they don’t all sink to the bottom.)

5. Add avocado pieces, whole Prawns, egg slices and asparagus spears for garnish- make it pretty! (see photo or use your own creativity!)

6. Serve with whole grain toast or crackers and cheese and a crisp, white wine if you like–we do!

Enjoy!

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Salad with Goat Cheese, Persimmons or Pears and Mustard/Garlic Vinaigrette

salad with persimmons, endive and greens

Persimmon and Endive Salad–salad with persimmons, endive and greens

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Salads are a big part of our diet, especially in summer. We have them at the end of almost every dinner, with many types of  dressings; (my parents and grandparents who lived with us were European, and this was what we did–I still do as I find it is a great savory way to end a meal–plus no big need for a heavy dessert). One dressing I made recently is a variation of classic vinaigrette. This dressing makes enough for a large salad to serve 3-4 (or 2 major salad lovers).

We like the taste contrast of fruit and a bitter green, such as endive and arugula, with this tangy, mustard/garlic dressing. This salad can be a main dish if you add grilled chicken (leftover from your barbecue) or really good topped with grilled or roasted salmon.

Amounts aren’t exact- use your own taste as a guide; for example, not everyone likes as much garlic as we do.
SALAD WITH PEARS/PERSIMMONS AND GOAT CHEESE
INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 to 3/4 head of red butter lettuce; washed, spun and torn
  • 1/3 cup of endive, arugula, and/or frisée (you can substitute any local greens you have but we like this combo)
  • 1 small pear, and/or fuyu persimmon,sliced thin (depending what’s in season)
  • 1 avocado sliced into approx. 1/2 ” cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin or chopped
  • Shred goat cheese such as goat Gouda ( any type) or Midnight Moon* on top
  • 2-3 tsps Chopped toasted pecans or sliced almonds (optional)

(Tip from caterers: add dressing to lettuces and toss, then spread other ingredients on top so that they don’t all fall to the bottom before serving.)

* a semi-hard goat cheese made in Holland, from Cypress Grove Creamery, www.cypressgrovechevre.com.

DELISH MUSTARD/GARLIC VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil (just a small amount adds a subtle nutty flavor)
  • 1/4–1/3 cup white wine vinegar; to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed garlic; 3 cloves crushed *
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or Mendocino mustard**
  •  Salt-free spice like Mrs. Dash’s; Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients (or shake in a jar)
* Cook’s Illustrated Magazine tip for crushing small amounts of garlic:
Smash heads with flat of a chefs knife to peel, cut off ends; rub the peeled heads between the upside down tines of a fork; then crush the larger pieces with the fork to yield crushed garlic.
**http://www.mendocinomustard.com
Enjoy!