Shrimp and Avocado Salad
1 kg of salad shrimp, thawed, drained and patted dry
6 tomatoes, seeded and finely (5 mm) diced, and patted dry
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed (10 mm)
1 bunch of dill, finely chopped
25 mL mayonnaise
2 heads of large leaf lettuce (Bibb perhaps) washed and dried well, but not torn up
75 mL good olive oil
25 mL lemon juice
25 mL Dijon mustard
10 mL strong English prepared mustard (Keens or Colmans)
2 mL of salt, ground pepper AND sugar
[Toasted almonds/pine nuts/Hungarian paprika/dill sprigs for garnish]
Combine (without stirring) the dressing ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Put it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. Combine the mayonnaise and chopped dill in a small bowl, and mix extremely well. The shrimps and tomatoes can be wet, so make sure they are as dry as possible, or they will make the dressing too runny. Take the stainless steel bowl out of the freezer, and using a whisk, mix well: it should emulsify perfectly, and look very thick and creamy. Gently whisk the dill/mayonnaise mixture into the other dressing. Now combine the shrimps, avocadoes and tomatoes with the dressing, mixing well. Let sit five minutes to let the flavours meld.
In large bowls, arrange the large leaf lettuce in a rough bowl shape. Plate the shrimp mixture in the centre in a mound. If you want, garnish with the nuts, a light sprinkle of paprika, or a dill sprig. Serve as it.
At that point the lettuce leaves will have almost no dressing on them. Guests can either mix everything up together, or alternate the rich shrimp/avocado mixture with refreshing lettuce leaves! By the way, you will note that there is 2 mL of sugar in the recipe. You actually need that, or the mustard and lemon juice will overwhelm the shrimp. A similar commercial dressing would have over 15-30 mL of sugar or syrup, so you are still miles ahead. Just don’t leave it out, or the dressing will ruin the rest of the dish, and any wine you may be drinking!