This speedy summer shrimp salad tosses pears, cucumber, cashews and fresh mint with a lemony dressing for a refreshing light seafood supper.
Shrimp is one of my summertime ingredient best friends – it’s easy to find, easy to cook, and you can make it about a million different ways.
And while I love a warm shrimp supper, now that summer is officially here, I’m all about the cool suppertime salad.
(Side note: our wildflower meadow has now transitioned into millions of Black-Eyed Susans and a couple of others that I’m not sure what they are, other than so so so pretty – anybody got any ideas for me?)
Back at the recipe, I originally made this salad with peaches (and that’s a great variation if you are a peach person) but there was something about the slightly tarter taste of pears that I loved even more.
We’ve also got some cucumbers and cashews for crunch, some chopped scallions for a little sass, a zippy lemony dressing, and to make the whole thing just summertime perfect, a generous handful of fresh mint.
You can find mint both in your supermarket and your friendly local farmer’s market. And if you plant your own, it will come up faithfully every year and you will have mint FOREVER. Fresh mint tea for everyone!
How to make summertime shrimp salad!
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a pound of peeled shrimp. Cook your shrimpies until they just done, about three minutes. Pour them into a strainer, run them under cold water until they are nice and cool, then put ‘em in a mixing bowl.
Next! Put the juice and zest from one lemon, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small jar, cover and shake shake shake to combine.
Add the a chopped cucumber, some sliced pears, a couple of chopped scallions and a handful of chopped cashews to the bowl with the shrimp.
Drizzle on the dressing and toss it all up together, tasting as you go until it has the right amount of dressing for your taste.
Tips for making Summertime Shrimp Salad!
You can! You can find cooked shrimp at your supermarket seafood counter, and while it’s a little more expensive, it’s a definitely time-saver if you are in a hurry for this scrumptious salad.
Now, you don’t HAVE to take the vein (that dark line up the back of the shrimp) out, but lots of folks prefer their shrimpies that way. Pull off the shell by wiggling it apart at the bottom of the shrimp. Once the shell is off, cut a shallow line along the top of the shrimp where the vein is, pull it out with the tip of the knife and…you’re done! Put the shrimp shells in a zippered plastic bag when you toss them out, because if they sit in your trash can for more than a few hours…well, I’ll let you use your imagination.
Yep, except for the pears. They will still taste just fine, but like apples, pears have a tendency to turn a little brown once they are cut. So make everything else ahead, and then just cut up and add the pears at the last minute.
And…you’re done! Divide among plates, garnish with some cheery mint and serve it up.
I’m thinking next time I whip up this recipe, I might be swapping out the pears for pineapple. And maybe sprinkling some shredded coconut on top. Oh, the possibilities…happy summertime salad-eating, my friends!