Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recipe for Tarragon Shrimp Salad with Celery, Green Onion, and Celery Seed

I loved how French Tarragon from the garden perked up the flavors in this shrimp salad.

I had probably been growing herbs for at least 15 years before I discovered French Tarragon, but now I just can't imagine my herb garden without this distinctive and interesting flavor.  Tarragon has a flavor that's a little similar to fresh basil, but it's more licorice flavored and slightly less spicy.  In this Tarragon shrimp Salad with Celery, Green Onion, and Celery Seed the tarragon really brought out the other flavors.  If you don't have French Tarragon I recommend substituting basil, but please don't try making this with dried tarragon, which really doesn't taste much like fresh tarragon at all.

This salad is reminiscent of the Shrimp and Macaroni Salad that I so often made for my dad, and I don't think there's any doubt that dad would have loved this salad as well.  One thing that's made my Shrimp and Macaroni Salad such a favorite in the Denny family is the trick of catching the shrimp "juice" from the frozen shrimp, then reducing it by boiling and using that to add some concentrated shrimp flavor to the dressing for the salad.  I used that trick for this salad too, but the idea for a shrimp salad with tarragon came from a recipe for Shrimp Salad with Tarragon and Chives that showed up in my e-mail as a daily recipe from Fine Cooking.

I made this with cooked frozen shrimp, and because I wanted some of the shrimp "juice" to add to the dressing I drained the thawed shrimp into a colander with something underneath to catch the juice.  Then put the shrimp juice into a small saucepan and boil until it's reduced to 1 or 2 tablespoons.

Cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces.

Cut the celery and the green onions into diagonal slices.

I chopped up two teaspoons of tarragon, took this photo, and then I ended up chopping another teaspoon after I tasted the dressing.  (If you're not sure how much you like tarragon, I'd use the smaller amount.)

Whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, reduced shrimp juice, chopped tarragon, and celery seed.

Toss all the ingredients together, stir in the dressing and mix to combine.  This is best when chilled for at least a couple of hours before serving.  

Tarragon Shrimp Salad with Celery, Green Onion, and Celery Seed
(Makes 4-6 small servings; recipe adapted from Shrimp Salad with Tarragon and Chives from Fine Cooking.)

Salad Ingredients:
1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp (I used 50-70 count shrimp)
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayo
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 T reduced shrimp juice
1 T finely chopped tarragon (or less if you're not sure how much you like tarragon)
1/2 tsp. celery seed

Thaw shrimp (overnight in the refrigerator or in the bag in cold water) and then drain into a colander placed over a large bowl or measuring cup to catch the shrimp "juice."  Put the juice into a small saucepan and boil until it's reduced to 1-2 tablespoons.  (I usually taste to see how strong it is to decide when it's reduced enough.)  Let the shrimp juice cool for a few minutes before you add it to the dressing.

Cut shrimp into bite-sized pieces and place in salad bowl that has a snap-tight lid.  Diagonally slice enough celery to make 1 cup celery slices.  Diagonally slice enough green onion to make 1/4 cup sliced green onion.

When shrimp juice has cooled, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, shrimp juice, chopped tarragon, and celery seed to make the dressing.  Toss salad ingredients together, then add dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients with dressing.  Put lid on the salad bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving.  When salad has chilled, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve.

This kept well in the refrigerator for several days.


South Beach Suggestions: 
This salad is good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  Mayonnaise is a limited ingredient, so if you use full-fat mayo for the salad you should limit portion size, especially for phase one.

More Tasty Salad Ideas with Shrimp:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Shrimp and Macaroni from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with Mint, Lemon, and Cumin from Kalyn's Kitchen
Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Edamame, Cilantro, Chipotle, and Lime from Kalyn's Kitchen
Picnic-Perfect Tortellini and Shrimp Salad from The Perfect Pantry
Margarita Shrimp Salad from One Perfect Bite
Marinated Shrimp Salad from Sweetnicks
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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  1. This looks delish. There is a restaurant in Annapolis, MD that serves the best shrimp salad and there is some herb in it - and I am never quite sure what is is. I am wondering if its tarragon. I will have to try this and find out!

  2. I'm thinking that dressing would make a nice crab salad too.

    I never really tried tarragon until I moved to The Netherlands. It's called "dragon" here and that just had me too curious NOT to try!

  3. Maris, hope you like it!

    Becki, I wouldn't be surprised if it was tarragon; it's also really good in chicken salad.

    Mub, I would love this in crab salad. Very interesting; I didn't know it's sometimes called "dragon." I like that name for it!

  4. What a delcious shrimp salad! I've been looking for a fresh new way to make one and here it is in your post. Love your blog & all the unique veggie ideas. Will be back soon for more. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I cannot find the super like button.. this looks like a must try...

    For South beach.. do we use low fat mayo ? Also does this keep well overnight ?

    I am adding shrimps and celery and tarragon to my shopping list this weekend

  6. Elizabeth, thanks, glad you're enjoying the blog.

    MIZZ, I edited the post to say this kept well in the fridge for several days. Mayo is a limited food for SB; if you use light mayo it's 2 T per day but only 1 T for regular mayo (for phase one.)

  7. Great tip about concentrating the shrimp "juice" in the dressing. I have French tarragon in my herb garden, too, and almost always use it with chicken or egg dishes. Nice to know it works so well with shrimp. Thanks so much for including one of my recipes.

  8. This looks incredible!!! I absolutely love your blog and I'm so glad to be a new follower! xoxo

  9. I'm loving this salad! Shrimp salad is one of my favorite "creamy" salads and I don't make it enough. The herbs sound like a wonderful touch.

    I am going to be craving this till I make it!

  10. This is a great summer salad! I could bite into some of that right now!

  11. Lydia, my pleasure. And try the concentrated shrimp juice, it really bumps it up a notch.

    Kelly, welcome. Glad you're enjoying the blog.

    Aggie, hope you get to try it. And I'm going to try the chicken salad with almonds!

    Cooking Creation, thanks!

  12. I love tarragon and this salad looks incredible. Thanks.

  13. Jeanie, good to hear from another tarragon lover.

  14. What a lovely and flavorful salad, Kalyn. This sounds delicious. Thank you so much for the link to my blog. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  15. I may need a tarragon plant! Thanks for the suggestion of reducing the shrimp juice. That's a wonderful idea that I think could come in handy for lots of things made from frozen ingredients.

  16. Mmmm, this looks fabulous! I like the idea of thawing the shrimp over something and catching the "juice" to use as a dressing base. And you are so right about fresh and dried tarragon - chalk and cheese!!

  17. Wow Kalyn this dish simply looks great, can't wait to try it out over the weekend.

  18. Mary, my pleasure. Your food always looks good to me!

    Lady Amalthea, tarragon is very easy to grow. It survives the coldest winters in Utah and comes back with gusto. Highly recommend!

    Jeanne, I never could get what the fuss was over tarragon until I tried the fresh tarragon!

    Spensor, hope you will get to try it.

  19. Kalyn, this looks really good!! I've never used terragon. Will give this a try this weekend!! Excellent for summer!

  20. Kalyn, This looks delicious. I love shrimp salad and love tarragon, but have never combined them. The idea of concentrating the shrimp juice sounds interesting, but I'm much too lazy a cook to bother :-) I've got a back of cooked shrimp in the freezer and look forward to making this very soon.

  21. Martha, I'm sure it will be good even without the concentrated shrimp juice, but truly it does add a lot of flavor! Hope you try it.

  22. What a pretty salad for summer. I love adding tarragon to seafood...the flavors go so well together.

  23. Karen so glad you like it. I agree that tarragon goes so well with seafood.

  24. Great combination of flavors, Kalyn!

  25. Thanks Katrina; I loved it.

  26. I love tarragon with shrimp. And like you, I can't imagine life without tarragon.

    I do love the sound of this salad. I would never have thought to add celery seed. (So far, the only thing I've ever added celery seed to is stock.)

  27. My mother always added celery seed to potato salad, so from that I started adding it to shrimp salad. I think it's a great addition to mayo-based salad dressings.

  28. It's 104 degrees in our part of Texas and I didn't feel like cooking tonight...remembered this recipe, ran to Kroger for a few ingredients and...YUM! I can tolerate this heat a little better when I get to eat something this good AND still be on the South Beach diet!

    My husband and I are both doing the SBD (since April of this year) and your website has been instrumental to our success...great recipes that never make us feel like we are on a diet! My husband has lost 68lbs and I have lost 28lbs. Thanks so much Kalyn for your time devoted to this website...we're so grateful!

    Teresa in Texas

  29. Oh Teresa, I just love hearing that my blog is helping you with South Beach. Thanks for taking the time to let me know that, and glad you enjoyed the shrimp salad!

  30. Tarragon is such an underrated spice. Especially with seafood. I think I'm going to make this soon, seafood salads are the best in summer. Thanks!

  31. Mark, I agree completely. I still remember when I first tried it and how I loved it immediately. Hope you enjoy the salad.

  32. I really like the sound of a shrimp salad.

  33. That salad looks fantastic! I think I'll make it for my mother, who LOVES shrimp. Perfect lunch with a bowl of vegetable soup.

    I'm not fond of reduced fat "mayo", so I've found alternatives. I'm going to try this using 1/4 cup 1% buttermilk and 1 Tbsp each fat-free sour cream and full-fat mayo.

  34. Mayo is Paleo? I know they rhyme and all, but I'm thinking no. Hmmmmm....

    I say "Paleoish".

  35. My blog is not Paleo, so I'm not quite sure what you mean?


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