Shrimp Louie Salad
Bright, fresh, and dramatically pretty, Shrimp Louie Salad comes to the table with minimal effort on your part. Assemble a few ingredients, whisk together the dressing, and let the feasting begin. That’s the beauty of a Louie.
Most culinary backstories are murky on dates, contested in origin, and just a little convoluted. And so it is with the history of Louie, sometimes spelled Louis, Salad. Lots of conflicting anecdotes about the salad abound.
But they all seem to agree on a few things: a West Coast origin, early 20th-century start, and crab as the star of the show. Crab Louis Salad started appearing on menus in upscale restaurants in Seattle, San Francisco, and Spokane as early as 1904.
The classic ingredients included iceberg lettuce, Dungeness crab meat, sliced tomato, hard-boiled eggs, maybe sliced cucumber, and lemon wedges. Louie dressing, a mayonnaise-based dressing similar to Thousand Island dressing, was drizzled over everything.
Today, there are lots of iterations of the salad. Some include asparagus, avocado, and capers. It is a cool, refreshing salad that highlights seafood and a luxurious dressing.
In this Louie, the crab is replaced by shrimp.
I have a child that does not like shrimp. A bad experience when they were younger caused them to see it twice: once going into their mouth and once coming back out of that same mouth. That turned them off shrimp forever it seems.
But shrimp is a dream menu item. It is high in protein but low in calories. A typical serving size of shrimp is four ounces, which yields 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs, and 120 calories. Wow.
It is also one of those things you should always stock in your freezer. A one-pound bag of frozen shrimp can be cooked in under five minutes, whether thawed or not. Cooked and chilled, it makes a great appetizer. Add shrimp to tacos, nachos, pizza, pasta, or rice. And to salads like this one.
- Cold, poached shrimp is excellent on a warm-weather salad like this. But if you’d rather sauté or grill them, go for it. You’re an adult, so do what you want.
- The horseradish adds some mild spice. But if your tummy says you are not allowed to do that, just leave it out.
- Perfect bread to accompany this? Ligurian focaccia.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp pickle relish
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp prepared horseradish
- ¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1 lb frozen jumbo shrimp, thawed
- 1 head romaine or red leaf lettuce, rinsed and chopped
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 or 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- Garnish: capers, chopped parsley
- Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water and set it to the side.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the shrimp by plunging them into the boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until pink. Remove the shrimp from the hot water and immediately add to the ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Place the lettuce on a large platter or on 4 individual serving plates. Evenly distribute the sliced egg and sliced avocado. Add on the tomatoes.
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Add the shrimp to the salad platter or plates. Garnish with capers and parsley. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Drizzle the salad with the dressing and eat!
Keywords: shrimp Louie salad