Shrimp Salad has become one of our favorite treats this summer. The sweet shrimp combine beautifully with the bright flavors of lemon, dill and the creaminess of a good homemade mayonnaise. It easy to bring on picnics, to concerts in the park or to serve as a light lunch or supper. Most importantly, however, is that a good shrimp salad is much more than a flavorful meal; rather, it’s extremely nutrient dense: iodine from shellfish combines with vitamin E from unrefined extra virgin olive oil, biotin from fresh, raw pastured egg yolk and vitamin C from raw lemon segments. This shrimp salad is rich in nutrients and sinfully flavorful.
For our family, purchasing seafood presents ethical challenges – we live in the heart of the Rockies and far removed from the oceans. We do our best to ensure that the food we eat is grown locally, ethically and sustainably and while 90% of the food in our home meets this criteria, we make the occasional exception for long-distance foods: coconut oil, olive oil, occasional grains or nuts or seeds, spices and sometimes fruit or greens in the wintertime. We also make an exception for seafood – including shrimp, sea vegetables and, particularly, wild-caught salmon. These foods provide essential sustenance that’s difficult to come by through other means: iodine in particular is difficult to find outside of shellfish and sea vegetables though it’s a nutrient that’s critically important to health – especially the health of the endocrine system and the thyroid in particular. So we make an exception in these cases, knowing from Weston A Price‘s landmark book Nutrition & Physical Degeneration (read it online or purchase a copy), that, prior to modernized farming and the industrialization, land-locked peoples went to great lengths to secure iodine-rich foods including seafoods from coastal peoples through trade and other means. Seafoods played an important role in human evolution, numbering as one of the first “farmed” foods – predating the farming of grain and keeping livestock, and also playing an important role in human health.
In an attempt to balance both our need for high quality nutrition with making mindful and ethical purchases, we rely heavily on Seafood Watch – a service of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium – which helps consumers to identify the best choices, good alternatives and fish and shellfish to avoid. It is essential in helping to choose wholesome, but sustainably sourced seafoods and they even offer pocket guides that you can stick in your purse or wallet so that the information about ethically sourced seafood is available to you when you’re shopping.
And while seafood is still a rare treat at our kitchen table, it is something we relish and can enjoy comfortably – knowing that we’ve sourced our seafoods as ethically as possible.
shrimp salad with dill mayonnaise
- 1 lb shrimp
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 1 lemon (segmented with rind and pith discarded)
- 1/2 cup dill mayonnaise
- fresh dill (to taste)
- finely ground real salt (to taste)
- for the dill mayonnaise:
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh dill (snipped)
- cayenne powder
- finely ground real salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Boil shrimp with 1 bay leaf about five minutes or until cooked through. Allow the shrimp to cool while you prepare the dill mayonnaise.
- To prepare the dill mayonnaise, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, fresh dill with a dash cayenne pepper and unrefined sea salt in the basin of a food processor. Pulse a few moments to mix ingredients, then process while slowly pouring in 1/2 cup olive oil until the mixture is well emulsified and creamy. Refrigerate.
- Once the shrimp is cool, peel and de-vein it (if necessary), then chop the shrimp into 1/4-inch dice.
- Mix chopped celery, lemon segments and chopped red onion together.
- Fold 1/2 cup dill mayonnaise into the mixture of celery, lemon segments, red onion and shrimp until all ingredients are well-coated by the mayonnaise.
- Fold in additional dill, unrefined sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over crackers or lettuce for a snack, light lunch or supper.