This Shrimp and Avocado Salad is such a nice fresh cold salad that will brighten up your meal. It uses simple fresh ingredients, easy to find and easy to prepare.
Summer is here. Aside from iced cold drinks, salad is a must when I have my main meals. I love veggie so much that my meal will not be complete if I don’t have any amount of veggie on my plate. As a meal, salad is quite light especially the one that uses mostly greens, like this one. There are times for a more filling salad, but today is just about quick, easy and delicious salad. This salad has a lot of freshness from assorted greens, fresh herbs, tomato and avocado. I like using shrimp because they are easy to prepare and they are on the lighter side. If you want a more filling salad, you can serve it with grilled Salmon, chicken or steak.
About This Recipe
- Ease in Making the Recipe: Salad in most cases are easy to make, and this one is not an exception. This salad comes in just 15 minutes or less. No complex cooking required here, just simple steaming process for the shrimp. The rest of the ingredients are vegetables which will just require chopping or slicing
- Ingredients: The ingredients are easy to find even if you don’t have the on hand. Avocado, shrimp, vegetables plus seasoning and spices. That’s about it. You can use store-bought vinegrete dressing but I highly encourage you to make this simple Honey Lemon dressing. Homemade dressing are 100% better than store-bought when it comes to freshness and taste. Dressing is key to making a delicious salad.
- Texture, Taste & Flavor: It’s a very refreshing salad. The different texture from the steamed shrimp, crisp lettuce, juicy tomato and creamy avocado all worked together. What really sealed the deal for me and made this salad delicious is the homemade Lemon dressing. The fresh citrus flavor with slight sweet and salty taste lingers in your mouth. You can really taste the freshness.
- Make-Ahead: You can steam the shrimp and marinade in the dressing overnight, that leaves only the plating when you are ready to serve it. If you have time, you can even grill the shrimp. Shrimp cooks fast regardless how you choose to cook it. You can make this maybe 30 minutes before serving, slice the Avocado only before serving it. This way you can prevent the Avocado from browning to fast. This is a very easy recipe to make, so I suggest make it the same day you are serving it.
Ingredients for Avocado and Shrimp Salad
Let’s go over and have a look at the key ingredients needed to make this easy easy.
- Avocado – for best texture, use a ripe but still hard Avocado. This means no bruise and not too soft Avocado. You want a ripe but firm Avocado when you mix it with the Salad
- Shrimp/Prawn – if you have the luxury and budget to use Prawn, that will be great but not a must as shrimp will do and more budget friendly. You can use fresh or frozen uncook or pre-cook and you just have to remove the shell. I prefer using the uncooked frozen as that is what I often have in my freezer.
- Lettuce or Any Mixed Greens – Lettuce are great if you want to have a nice crunch but any mix greens as as good as well. You can also use Kale. Chop it into small pieces and massage it with the dressing at least 30 minutes before serving it. This helps to soften the Kale.
- Parsley or Cilantro – these two herbs is packed with freshness and it works well with the citrus dressing and creamy Avocado. You can use either or use combination of both.
- Red Onion – when it come to salad like this, Red Onion is my go to option. I find it sweeter and milder plus it adds a nice pop of color to the salad. You can also use yellow or white onion.
- Tomato – whether it is big or cherry tomato it doesn’t matter. If using big, cut it into bite size pieces or slice them. If using cherry tomato, slice them into half.
- Seasoning and Spices – I often say this in a lot of my savory recipes, seasonings and spices are not set on stone. There’s a lot of room for flexibility. I used basic ones like salt, pepper and dried herbs . You can mix and match spices that makes sense to be together.
- Lemon – Lemon is key to achieving a tangy citrus taste in the dressing. It balances the sweet, salty taste. You can also use Lime for a stronger citrus flavor.
- Honey – whenever I make a citrus flavored dressing, I always add honey for a more complex flavor. The tangy, sweet and salty taste of the dressing brings out the freshness and flavor.
- Crumble Feta Cheese – totally optional but highly recommended. Feta cheese works well with the rest of the ingredients in this salad, so why not add it if you have it
- Kalamata Olive – optional but highly recommended if you have it.
How to Make Avocado & Shrimp Salad
Make the Dressing: The dressing is a simple Lemon Dressing. Lemon gives the citrus tangy taste, while the honey balances this tangy taste with the slight sweetness it gives to the dressing. All you have to do is to mix all the dressing ingredients in a small jar with lid. This makes the mixing easier by just shaking the jar. Honey is quite sticky and has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the jar or bowl, plus olive oil and lemon doesn’t really mix that easily. Find a jar that is big enough to fill huts half of it when all the ingredients are added. The extra space gives room when you shake the jar. If you do not have a jar, mix it in a large bowl enough to hold the dressing and the cook shrimp.
To the dressing, add the chopped red onion and parsley and mix.
Steam the Shrimp/Prawn: Steaming is a healthier cooking option which works well for shrimp because they cook fast. If using frozen, run water on the shrimp to thaw it then steam it. This makes the steaming process faster. Other cooking option is to sear the shrimp in a heated pan with small amount of oil. You can also grill it, or even bake it . The aim is just to have the shrimp cooked.
Marinade the Cooked Shrimp: Since we are steaming the shrimp, the shrimp will have no taste at that stage. No spices and seasonings were added because we are going to marinade it in the dressing which is packed with flavor. Transfer the steamed shrimp onto the bowl with the marinade. You can leave this marinating overnight or at least 30 minutes. Keep it refrigerated.
Assemble the Salad: Once you have all these done, time to put them all together to make the salad. There’s 2 way you can do this:
- Add the Avocado and Tomato with the marinated shrimp. Gently toss so that the Avocado and Tomato are coated with the dressing. Transfer the lettuce or mixed greens in the serving plate and arrange the Avocado, shrimp and tomato on top. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve the excess dressing on the side. This is how I personally like to because I do not want the lettuce soaked with dressing as it could make them soggy when left for long.
- Toss everything in a large bowl then transfer in a serving bowl or plate.
- 1 lb Shrimp thawed (drained and patted dry with paper towel)
- 2 Avocados – slice in wedges or cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro, fresh
- 3 tablespoon Parsley, fresh
- 2 cups Lettuce or mixed Greens
- 1/4 medium size Red Onion – thinly sliced or chopped
- 1 medium size Tomato – thinly slice or diced (or 1/3 cup Cherry Tomato cut into half)
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil, extra-virgin
- 3 tablespoon Lime or Lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper, Fresh cracked
- 3/4 teaspoon table Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- Shrimp – can be substituted with Prawn. You can use fresh, frozen uncook or frozen cooked. You can also use grilled or seared Salmon, chicken or steak. Season before cooking.
- Lemon – can be substituted with Lime
- Honey – can be substituted with Maple syrup. Expect a slight change in taste
- Lettuce – can be substituted with mix greens or Kale
- Red Onion – can be substituted with yellow or white onion. Expect a slight change in taste
- Oregano – can be substituted with dried Basil, Italian seasoning or other dried herbs that you like.
- Steam the Shrimp: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp to a steamer basket or mesh strainer and steam for 5-6 minutes until they turn opaque and cooked through. If using a frozen shrimp, run a warm water to it to thaw it. This speeds up the steaming process.
- Make the Dressing/Marinade: Use bowl large enough to hold all the dressing ingredients plus the steamed shrimp. Which together the olive oil, lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, dried oregano and honey. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Marinade the Shrimp: Transfer the cooked shrimp to the bowl with half of the dressing. Add the red onions and gently combine all the ingredients with the dressing in the bowl. Marinade the shrimp for at least 30 minutes. You can also cover and leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
- Serve: Add the sliced or diced tomato and avocado to the shrimp. Toss to combine. Arrange the lettuce on the serving plate and spoon tue shrimp and avocado on top. Transfer the excess dressing on a small bowl. Serve at room temperature or chilled with the extra dressing on the side. Sprinkle crumble feta cheese on top.
This salad is best served the same day. Although it could be stored overnight in the fridge, the Avocado will start to brown and the vegetables will be a bit soggy. If serving for later, slice the Avocado and tomato just before serving.
- The dressing/marinade can be make even a week in advance. Keep it refrigerated
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