Spiriteds, Fresh Shrimp Tossed Salad puts me in a good mood, and I hope it does the same for you! I don’t know if it’s because the light, crunchy lettuce leaves are a welcome addition to our spring menu or if it’s because chilled shrimp is a nice alternative to other, heavier proteins. Or maybe it’s because as I assembled the salad, I went back in time to a Sunday long ago when the women in my extended family drove to a quaint tea room to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’m pretty sure we ate salads. Or at least foods that resembled salads. Because mature. Because proper for a day.
Okay, that’s probably it, that’s probably why this salad makes me smile.
Raised by three women who spanned more than forty years between them and whom I celebrate in spirit, to now being a mom myself, Mother’s Day holds many different meanings and memories for me. This year it was an absolute joy to trek down memory lane to the tea room where I’m certain I wore culottes and a satin headband. Decked out in dangly earrings masked by a wave of frizzy hair, we put Aqua Net to the test every time we passed through doorways, in our kitten heels, of course.
Fresh Shrimp Tossed Salad reminds me of that fancy day, yet the ease with which it’s made belies this special brunch status. Or what Toodle calls “lunchfeast” (pronounced “fest”). Deliciously light yet filling, even the weather was calm and beautiful the day I made this succulent salad. It was as though Mother Nature knew what was happening and approved the effort. Spiriteds, if a salad could be clutch, then this salad is it.
There is something captivating about the finely chopped celery, hint of cilantro, and combination of onions. Not to mention the celery seed added to the dressing. That was the first thing K-Hubs noticed. The verdict? He approved.
I had a slightly different first reaction to the dressing. After I added the lemon juice and took a spoonful, I panicked. I worried for our tastebuds, Spiriteds. So I began searching for the lime juice and then thought about ditching the juice altogether. However, after I calmed down, I realized I had been rash. Most people don’t just eat salad dressing by the spoon. Unless you’re K-Hubs, apparently, with a spoonful of Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. I had to admit I hadn’t actually tried the dressing ON the salad and the dressing still needed a good stir or two.
Once I added the dressing to the ingredients, I couldn’t put the salad down. It turns out I DO like lemon juice in this dressing, Sam I Am. And I DO like it on the salad. The dressing is the perfect complement to the other ingredients.
My terribly stressful culinary experience, however, taught me a thing or two about this salad. Serve Fresh Shrimp Tossed Salad cold. Keep the shrimp chilled, and thoroughly rinse and drain the lettuce leaves. Stir the dressing just prior to pouring to prevent settling. If you aren’t going to eat the salad right away, then add the dressing just before serving. Otherwise, too and go! Fresh Shrimp Tossed Salad also yields about five cups, which means you can break it down into many small side dishes. Alternatively, serve it in one large family-style bowl. Finally, divide it into halves or thirds and enjoy it as a main course.
Happy crunching, Spiriteds!
Fresh Shrimp Tossed Salad
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- 1 pound fresh shrimp, cooked and deveined
- 4 cups lettuce (any will do), rinsed, drained, and sliced into strips or squares
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 pinches pepper
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- Garnish with additional pepper, optional
- Add lettuce to large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, celery seed, sea salt, and pepper.
- Add red onion, celery, green onion, and cilantro to olive oil mixture. Pour our lettuce mixture and toss.
- Top with chilled shrimp and toss again.
If you are prepping this in advance, keep the dressing and shrimp separate until just before serving.