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sock it to me, summer

Recipe: chopped shrimp waldorf salad

Frenzied. I’m feeling frenzied here. There is much going on at use real butter headquarters because summer is when everything except sleep gets turned up to maximum intensity: travel, visits, socializing, entertaining, outdoor pursuits, house maintenance. Like a nearly empty tube of toothpaste, we’re trying to squeeze every last bit of summer out of August before Jeremy resumes teaching. [Even though my summer runs through September, his does not.] You know the drill. Or maybe you don’t? You might be one of those types who likes to relax. My idea of relaxing is doing something, so in essence, I can’t relax. It’s okay, I am happier functioning that way. From the still photographs, you’d never be the wiser for the flurry of activity going on behind the scenes.

can’t resist fruity cocktails: piña coladas

brilliant mammata clouds after sunset

dinner at sushi den in denver with my parents and friends

Speaking of, I have observed that our summer meals are much like a “flurry” in that they are typically quick, low on energy consumption, and easy. (My) Winter meals allow for considerably longer prep and cooking times, filling the house with warmth and good aromas after a long hard day of skiing our beloved Colorado powder (drifting off into reverie). Oh right – but what could be more quintessentially summer than a salad-as-meal? Just chop, toss, and eat.

a nice twist on the “waldorf”: shrimp, cucumber, celery, apples, almonds, grapes

why yes, i used lovely little champagne grapes

I found this recipe for a chopped shrimp take on the Waldorf salad in my Fine Cooking library and immediately placed a sticky tab on the page. For me, this is the perfect summer meal when the weather is really bloody hot. Okay, second only to a giant slab of cold watermelon when the mercury rises above 90°F (rare in our mountains). As most of you know, heat makes me cranky and I lose my cooking mojo when it gets too warm around here. Washing and dicing fresh produce calms me down – relaxes me, if you will.

bibb (butter) lettuce

chopped and ready

Over the years I’ve migrated from store-bought salad dressings to making my own and now I find most purchased dressings to be disgusting with their thickeners and corn syrup and plastic taste. Dressings are so simple, but to sell them in bottles that get shipped around the world to sit on a shelf for months on end you have to add all manner of crap to keep them from going bad. *News Flash* The very process makes them suck. I have always migrated toward the vinaigrettes and so Fine Cooking’s buttermilk dressing was new territory for me. Rocked my world, kids. Easy peasy and muy rico.

give the dressing a good stir

toss with the dressing (all pieces that jump ship are fair game)

This salad is deliciously simple, packed with crisp, crunchy, juicy components. I loved making little wraps with the delicate bibb lettuce leaves. The only problem I encountered was that the champagne grapes, since they’re so tiny and hence didn’t need to be sliced in half, bounced away if they fell out of the lettuce wrap. *Public Service Announcement* I had to chase those down before Kaweah could get to them because grapes in any form (wine, grape juice, raisins) can cause renal failure in dogs. *End PSA* My favorite thing about a salad like this is how easy it is to substitute ingredients to your liking: chicken, dried tofu, walnuts, jicama, curry powder in the dressing. So hey – have fun with that and get outside!

flavor AND fiber – hee hee

Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad
[print recipe]
Fine Cooking issue #79 with minor deviations for the lazy bums among us

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped (I omitted)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Fuji apples, medium dice (1/4-inch)
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved (I used champagne grapes, whole)
2 cups English or Persian cucumber, medium dice (1/4-inch) (Jen’s addition)
1 1/2 cups celery, medium dice (1/4-inch)
1/3 cup almonds, blanched, slivered, and lightly toasted
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
12 tender butter (bibb) lettuce leaves

Steam the shrimp over simmering water until just cooked, about 3 minutes. (I just tossed the shrimp into boiling water and let them cook for a couple of minutes until pink and drained them). Let the shrimp cool. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice, tarragon (I don’t dig tarragon, so I left it out), and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut the shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the shrimp, apples, grapes, celery, and almonds in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and adjust the seasonings with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as you like. Sprinkle with chives. You can serve the salad on a bed of butter lettuce leaves or next to the lettuce so you can spoon salad into each leaf to consume like a lettuce wrap.

43 nibbles at “sock it to me, summer”

  1. heather says:

    I’m into the new version of Waldorf salad, but it’s the mammata clouds I’m really digging here! I’ve only seen them in photos – you’re lucky to view such beautiful examples in person. And I bet your view of the meteor shower on Wednesday will be dynamite!



  2. ska says:

    Hi Jen. You’ve inspired me to venture out and attempt pad thai and dumplings,much to the delight of my family.
    I’ve really enjoyed your site. Great photography!

  3. charlane says:

    yum – and I’m glad to know that it’s good without the tarragon because I don’t care for it either

  4. Manisha says:

    I *love* you! Medha got hooked onto waldorf salad when we were in Yosemite. I’ve been too lazy to look for a recipe and then you present me (ok, all your readers!) with this! Hugs! Hugs! And more hugs!

  5. Laura [What I Like] says:

    Those clouds are the most astonishing things I’ve seen in quite some time! And that photo of the champagne grapes is a close second…

  6. Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} says:

    Sounds so light and fresh – looks delicious!

  7. dawn says:

    I always look forward to those cloud photos, but I have to day that pina colada is just about perfect. Man I would love one of those right now.

  8. Sarah says:

    I think you should win an award for the photo of the grapes. Wowza.

  9. Irina (PastryPal) says:

    NOW you’re killing me. This is so up my alley, and as luck would have it, it’s in the 90’s ’round here.

  10. Phoo-D says:

    I’ve been craving salads this month and this is making my mouth water! Can I borrow your phrase: “My idea of relaxing is doing something”? That describes me so perfectly I laughed out loud! We always push hard in the summer to sleep less and do more.

  11. Erin says:

    What a fabulous list of ingredients. This looks so delicious!

  12. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    I just made and apple and grape salad and have been munching on it for the last 2 days. I have really been giving my jaw a workout. Your salad looks delicious, makes me want to make another one, but I think I’ll give my jaw a rest for a few days, lol.

  13. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Looks deee-licious! And those pinas look mighty tasty, too!

  14. Fiona says:

    That looks great. I love chicken salad with grapes, and I remember once being served shrimp salad with grapes at Edisto Island. So I just wrote out this recipe and methinks Mommy is going to the store in a little while…

  15. Rosa says:

    This salad looks ever so delightful! I love your version! And that grape picture is amazing…



  16. arfi says:

    wow, that is one fantastic salad! i just love nibble them in a hot summer day. enough with a refreshing drink. heaven!

  17. Asianmommy says:

    The Waldorf salad looks wonderful. I simply love your cloud pic.

  18. Jen @ MaplenCornbread says:

    Oh how wonderful!!!!!!!! I love chicken waldorf salad I can just imagine how great the shrimp must be! Need to try this! :)

  19. Caitlin says:

    Yeah, I’d drift off into a reverie if my winter activity was filled with powder! I’m with you though – I’d rather be active, moving, doing things, packing things in, than sitting around doing nothing and *relaxing.* I love the idea of squeezing everything you can out of summer = squeezing the last bits out of a toothpaste tube (I’m OCD about that one…). This salad looks just perfect, especially since heat & humidity spiked here in WI – 85* and 90% RH. Yech!

  20. Tartelette says:

    Salads are my daily fare for lunch and I am always on the look out for different recipes so this one is put on file for shrimp season in a few short month. I know I could make it with just about anything but I bet that dressing is heaven with buttery shrimp and plenty of tarragon for me.
    Have a wonderful trip!

  21. Emmy says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. That looks so good right now. It’s been insanely hot where I live, and salads are the only thing I can think about eating. The mere thought of turning on the oven makes me sweat. This looks so crunchy and juicy and delicious!

  22. joey says:

    Love waldorf salads…must try with shrimp soon! This looks fantastic!

    You would melt over here…it’s hot all the time! I will gladly take some of your lovely snow if you would like to make a donation :)

  23. Diana Merrell says:

    I know what we are having for dinner :).

  24. Valérie says:

    I completely agree with you on homemade dressing vs bottled. It’s so easy to just whisk up a quick vinaigrette or creamy dressing!

    I’ll eat shrimp in anything, but that salad is really becknoning to me. I like your presentation, too.

  25. Aran says:

    The salad looks so refreshing! And the piña coladas… Hmmm… Enjoy the company!

  26. Kristin says:

    Oh yummy. Another one to try. Do champagne grapes taste as good as they look? My daughter has wanted me to get them, but I’ve just stuck to our favorite red seedless.

  27. Lori says:

    Oh my, this is one fine dish! And I would love one of thos Pian Coladas right now.

  28. Cate says:

    I completely agree with you on bottled salad dressings. I don’t think I’ll ever buy any again!

  29. Muneeba says:

    The colors of that sunset are awe-inspiring … wish I could drape myself in those colors! And the Waldorf salad looks just right for the hot & humid weather we’re having in CT right now. Me likey the shot with the delicate champagne grapes :)

  30. So Good Blog/News Round-Up 8/12/09 | So Good says:

    […] Chopped shrimp waldorf salad. […]

  31. Dharm says:

    Love ALL the pics! Anything with shrimp in it is good in my books and that Waldorf Salad looks simply lovely. I wish I had some now -especially with how hot it ALWAYS is over here, washed down with lots of pina colada of course!!

  32. Big Boys Oven says:

    Just full of goodness! simplicity!

  33. So Good Blog/News Round-Up 8/12/09 | The Internet Marketing Spot says:

    […] Chopped shrimp waldorf salad. […]

  34. Simone (junglefrog) says:

    That is one gorgeous salad, but then the photos are so gorgeous you possibly make terrible stuff look good!

  35. Kevin says:

    Adding shrimp to a waldorf salad is a great idea! It look so good!

  36. Manggy says:

    VERY nice! Great way to add much-needed protein to this! :)
    Hm, maybe it’s me you need there during the hot months. Compensate for your lack of cooking mojo, as I am terribly used to cooking and baking in a tropical climate! :D What a skill set, huh?

  37. jenyu says:

    Heather – unfortunately, our view of the meteor shower was the inside of my tent because there was nothing but clouds that night where we were. Bummer :(

    Ska – thanks!

    Charlane – whew, I thought I was the only one! :)

    Manisha – awww, anything for Medha (and you!) xxoo

    Laura – thank you :)

    Michelle – it’s quite lovely when the weather is hot.

    Dawn – the pina colada hits the spot when the temps go up, for sure!

    Sarah – ha ha! Thanks :) They’re just grapes though ;)

    Irina – ugh, 90s? I’m so sorry :(

    Phoo-D – it’s amazing how that phrase resonates with some and strikes fear into others!

    Erin – it’s a treat and I don’t feel overly FULL which is something I hate, especially in summer.

    Lisa – wow, good on ya!

    TKW – I knew it would get your attention, you booze hound, you ;)

    Fiona – woohoo!

    Rosa – thank you, sweetie.

    Arfi – agreed!

    Asianmommy – thank you!

    Jen – I love the chicken version too, but I think I prefer the shrimp (believe it or not!) :)

    Caitlin – of course you’re OCD, you’re an engineer! hee hee.

    Tartelette – shrimp season. I am utterly jealous of you there :) Bring some to SF will ya? Oh wait – that might not smell so good ;) ha ha ha!

    Emmy – it’s great! I hope you try it!

    Joey – I would (and have) melt(ed) over there :) You’re right! We need to start a snow donation program, no?

    Diana – :)

    Valerie – it really is and tastes 100 times better!

    Aran – thanks, dear!

    Kristin – they’re pretty good. Sweet and… grapey. They’re just tiny little guys. I wouldn’t buy champagne grapes just for this salad though – regular red seedless are fine.

    Lori – who wouldn’t? I could use (another) one now too! hee hee.

    Cate – yeah, they’re pretty narsty.

    Muneeba – thank you :)

    Dharm – oh, I just don’t know how you bake all those masterpieces in that heat! You are such a champ :) I raise a virtual pina colada to you, sir!!

    Big Boys Oven – thanks, sweetie.

    Simone – awww, you’re too kind, hon!

    Kevin – it’s great! Give it a try!

    Mark – yes, why don’t you come here in summer because I’m afraid you’d freeze your patootie off any other season ;) Plus, you’ll love how easy meringues are in this arid climate! xxoo

  38. Mrs Ergül says:

    I love the different tones of green and red on that plate!! Bookmarked to be used! Jen, you are a great source when it comes to salad recipes because it is so not typical! And this applies to not just salads!!

  39. TheWoman says:

    That looks super-yummy! Bookmarking it for the upcoming summerdays.

  40. emhuze says:

    Served this last night & heard real people making piggy-like noises – even the hardest to please granddaughter loved something about it. Recipe will move to Hughes Hall of Fame. Thank you– Tusen takk! Mary H.

  41. Kirsa says:

    Was looking for a way to try this recipe since you blogged it… had the chance to do so last saturday… AMAZING !!! Eights thumbs up and all the like ! (because we were 4 to eat this delish !)

    I used Gala apples instead of the Fuji, since they were not available, and cucumber from the garden….also have no idea where you took that bibb lettuce… had to use plain old curly one…. but still REAL GREAT ! Loved also those champagne grapes. I’d definitively use them again for this salad, as I think it makes the recipe original, but also they are far sweeter than the regular ones and well, even if they were a pain to remove from the vines, I didnt have to bother cutting them in half….

    the dressing also rocks my world ! woohoo… light… and creamy…. mmmm !!!

    My guests loved it so much they wanted to go with a bowl (but they forgot it, so more leftovers for me, nieh nieh nieh !)
    For how many is this recipy intented ? cause I served what I think were generous portions, and we used about half of the contents, for 4 persons. I’d myself say there is at least 8 portions in there.

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