Recipe time! I've been thinking a lot about various recipes I want to post here, and I have several in the queue. I'm excited to share them. Today's recipe is more of a summer time salad, but I've only missed the official summer cut-off by 4 days, and here in Texas it still feels like summer, so I'd say we're all good. This salad is fast, easy and super yummy. It is my friend Christy's recipe, so thanks Christy for allowing me to share it! And sorry I forgot to ask first. I figure it's always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission.
So, for shrimp salad you will need the following ingredients:
1 pound shrimp*
1/2 bag pasta of your choosing (I like the small shells)
1 green pepper
4-5 green onions
1/4 to 1/2 bag frozen peas (depending on the size of the bag and how much you like peas, I happen to like them a lot)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
*The shrimp. Here's the deal - depending on the size of the shrimp you get, you have several options. This time around I bought the tee-tiny super adorable witty bitty baby swimps. Usually I just get regular sized shrimp and cut them in half. But you can leave whole shrimps in there if that's how you roll. I prefer for everything to be bite size. I am all about aesthetics. Also, the little shrimp I bought this time was pre-cooked and frozen, so I didn't have to cook them. I highly recommend going with a pre-cooked shrimp, but if you got something else on sale (and I get it, shrimp is expensive), then you'll have to boil the shrimp first and allow it to cool. I said this recipe was easy, right? Maybe I lied.
To make the salad, boil water and cook noodles according to directions. Cut up all your veggies into bite size pieces, pretty much the same size. Here's a picture of my veggies all cut up and waiting.
How green and pretty! You can see why this would make a good spring/summer salad. Oh, and the peas? I don't even cook them, I just toss them in frozen from the bag. They will thaw out in no time.
Once the noodles are done, drain them and allow them to cool. They don't have to be cold, just cool to the touch. Once you add them in to all the cool crisp veggies, they'll cool down even more.
I don't know why I've included a picture of the noodles cooling in the strainer. It's a completely useless picture.
Toss the noodles, shrimp and veggies together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl or large measuring glass, mix the Ranch and mayo together. I use light Ranch and light mayo. I figure no one needs that much dressing in their lives. Some people don't believe in light Ranch or light mayo, and think it's a sin against food. Do what you like. Either way, whisk them together until there are no more lumps. Think of it like gravy. No one wants the lumps.
And now just toss the dressing in with the salad. You'll want to kind of eyeball it and maybe only add a little dressing at a time. You can always add more, but you can't take it away. Don't make it too soupy - this is supposed to be light! Just mix until it's well combined, chill for an hour and serve!
It makes great leftovers, too. The longer it sits the better it gets. Yum!! This is a great light lunch. Christy served it at our last book club and it was fantastic! If you're hosting a book club or ladies lunch or something, this is a great recipe. Thanks again, Christy!