My mother always serves salad as its own course.

It may start the meal, or maybe it follows a bowl of soup and/or an array of pickled and cured items, but there is always salad. Then comes the entree. The salad is light, fresh, and never the main show. The salad always gets its own plate in the table setting.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad | Things I Made TodayWe eat a lot of salad in our house too, but it’s usually of the kitchen sink variety. The kind that can stand up as a side dish or even perhaps a main dish. I only serve a salad on its own plate to keep up appearances for my mother. I am too embarrassed to ask my sister if she does the same.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad | Things I Made Today

This sort of main dish salad is nothing that my mom would ever make—it’s big, coarsely chopped—words that don’t mesh with her French dinner parties. It’s not elegant, but that’s exactly why I like it. Because on a hot summer evening, this counts for dinner. And a great dinner at that.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad | Things I Made Today

A quick pickling for the cucumbers, eggs with their yolks just slightly soft, crunchy radishes, boiled potatoes, creamy avocado, and shrimp. All on top of a head of Romaine lettuce and drizzled with a homemade Dijon and caper mayonnaise that is simple to whisk together.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad | Things I Made Today

It’s my kind of salad. I’m accepting that.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad | Things I Made TodayRecipe note: I used tiny little shrimp in this recipe, but feel free to use the more commonly found “jumbo” variety. You can choose to chop the shrimp into smaller pieces or leave as is.

Everything Plus Shrimp Summer Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
For the salad:
  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt + more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 small Persian cucumbers, sliced in half lengthwise, then coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 10 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into quarters lengthwise or chopped
  • 6-8 small radishes, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 avocado, coarsely chopped
For the dressing:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • ½ tablespoon capers
Make the potatoes:
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
Make the soft boiled eggs:
  1. Meanwhile, place eggs in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Bring water to a boil over high heat, turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 5-6 minutes. Drain and run eggs under cold water until they cool. Peel and set aside.
Pickle the cucumbers:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and vinegar until salt dissolves. Add in cucumbers and toss to coat. Set aside.
Cook the shrimp:
  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook until barely pink. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Make the dressing:
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg yolk, mustard, salt, and lemon juice. Slowly add olive oil, whisking continuously. Dressing should start to thicken and emulsify. Once you've used up all the oil, if dressing is too thick, add a drop or two of cold water and whisk to loosen.
  2. Stir in shallot and capers into dressing and set aside.
Assemble the salad:
  1. Coarsely chop the cooked potatoes and quarter the peeled eggs. Drain cucumbers. If desired, chop shrimp into smaller pieces.
  2. Place quartered Romaine pieces on individual plates. Split cucumbers, potatoes, radishes, and avocado evenly amongst plates. Top with shrimp. Drizzle dressing on top of everything, leaving some to serve on the side. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
  3. Alternatively, you can mix everything together in a large serving bowl with chopped Romaine leaves and toss in dressing before serving.


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