She taught me to scramble eggs, make perfect white sauce and chicken soup. How I miss being in the kitchen with my mom. In her memory, I’m making her favorite shrimp salad for Mother’s Day – the California Shrimp Louie Salad. The best thing you can give your mom on Mother’s Day is your time. Don’t spend all day in the kitchen. Prep this salad ahead of time and spend time with her by being present. She won’t be around forever.
The California Shrimp Louie Salad
If you asked my mom where she wanted to go for lunch, she’d say The Fish Company. She always ordered the seafood and avocado Louie salad. In her honor, I’ve created my version of the recipe using the classic components.
This shrimp salad is a west coast classic and it’s easily assembled for a terrific Mother’s Day lunch. You’ll spend minimal time in the kitchen. Gather your ingredients the day before, hard boil a few eggs, make the dressing and you’re practically ready.
Easy Assembly, Healthy Salad
Often done with pricey Dungeness crab, bay shrimp is an economical option for this salad. Cooked bay shrimp are available at most seafood counters and markets. They also come cooked and frozen, ready to go by quick thawing under cold water.
For this salad you’ll need sturdy lettuce greens like romaine, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, shrimp and the traditional dressing. I like to add crisp, sweet Persian cucumber slices and a few asparagus spears for crunch and color. For perfect, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs see this post.
According to The Food Lovers Companion, classic Louie dressing is a combination of mayonnaise, chili sauce, cream, scallions, green peppers, lemon and seasonings. My variation uses Vegenaise, my favorite mayo for it’s light, clean taste. I skip the green peppers (because my family won’t touch them) and skip the cream. The scallions or chives are added to the dressing or sprinkled on top of the salad as garnish.
To give the dressing some kick, I use Sriracha or Tabasco. This dressing is so good that while we were shooting the photo I couldn’t stop dipping cucumber slices in it and eating them, so it works as a good dip for raw veggies too.
This Mother’s Day relax together, share old memories and create new ones. And by all means, take photos. lots of photos.
California Louie Shrimp Salad
- 1 cup Vegenaise or your favorite mayonnaise
- 3-4 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, Sriracha or Tabasco horseradish works too
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice to thin the dressing if desired
- 3 hearts of romaine lettuce
- 1 pound cooked small shrimp
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 16 sweet grape tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes quartered
- 1 large avocado quartered and sliced
- 3-4 Persian cucumbers or 1 English cucumber sliced thin
- 12 spears of asparagus optional, but nice
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- Make the dressing a day ahead, cover and refrigerate. Hard boil eggs, cool, peel and refrigerate.
- Wash romaine leaves and wrap loosely in paper towels placed in a zip bag to remain crisp. For asparagus spears, snap off the ends. Drop into boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes depending on their thickness, or until crisp but tender when pierced with a sharp paring knife. Chill in a bowl of ice water immediately to stop the cooking process. Drain and refrigerate.
- The day of serving, chop romaine leaves across for the salad base. Save a few leaf tops for a nice presentation if desired. Place romaine on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Top the greens with sliced avocado, tomatoes, egg quarters, and asparagus spears. Toss the shrimp with a little dressing. Place on top of the salad. Serve extra dressing on the side. If you want to thin the dressing for pouring, use a little milk.