Shrimp Salad from Ina Garten

This luscious shrimp salad from the Barefoot Contessa herself–Ina Garten–is made with shrimp, mayo, mustard, vinegar, and more. Excellent for picnics, brunch, showers.

A white takeout container filled with shrimp salad by Ina Garten--shrimp, mayonnaise, dill, red onion, celery, and lemon zest

Creamy but not gloppy. Light but not abstemious. And easy peasy to make yet elegant to behold. That’s what we think of this shrimp salad, which is gonna rock your world. And your cocktail party. And your work lunch rotation. Originally published September 6, 2001.Renee Schettler Rossi

Barefoot Contessa Shrimp Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 12
4.5/5 - 4 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)
  • 2 cups store-bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons good white wine or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons minced dill leaves
  • 1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)
  • 3 cups minced celery (about 6 stalks)
  • A few gratings of lemon zest (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Bring 5 quarts water, 3 tablespoons salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for only 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a bowl of cool water.
  • 2. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. When cool enough to handle, peel and devein the shrimp and place in a large bowl.
  • 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine, 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and dill. Add as much of the dressing as you like to the peeled shrimp along with the red onion, celery, and lemon zest, if using, and gently toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Sadly, I've been missing out. Sounds weird, but though I've cooked shrimp about a thousand times, I've never actually made shrimp salad. (Such a thing is very uncommon, if not downright unheard of, where I live.) This recipe allowed me to view shrimp in a different way and got me excited about eating it cold.

Sure, I've poached a lot of shrimp, and this shrimp tasted good simply poached in lemon juice, salt, and water. (I tasted a couple, just to see.) The shrimp was also enjoyable with the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon, white wine, red onion, celery, and dill mixture.

I agree with Ina's cooking technique and timing. The shrimp were tender and sweet and quite likable. My first shrimp salad experience was a good one. An experience I will undoubtedly repeat!

The only drawback is it seemed like there was a bit too much mayonnaise, but that can very easily be adjusted to personal taste.

This recipe looked like the perfect addition to my bridal shower luncheon menu, so I decided to give it a try. The fresh dill elevates this recipe to something very special—worthy of a bridal shower or any other special event, but easy enough to throw together for a casual summer lunch or dinner.

I liked the idea of not boiling the shrimp, so I tossed them with a little olive oil and roasted them for 6 minutes in a 400°F oven. When I made the dressing, it looked like a lot for the amount of shrimp. I tend to like salads lightly dressed, so I used just over half the dressing. I also used Vidalia onion to give the salad a milder flavor.

Comments

  1. This shrimp salad was awesome, I just tweaked it alittle and made it better, I think. I lightly broiled the shrimp and added crispy bacon to the onion and celery mixture. Yummy.

  2. The shrimp salad came out well. The only thing I would do differently next time is to peel and devein the shrimp beforehand and cook them less than 3 minutes. It was kind of hard to peel and devein after cooking; it seemed take off the meat. They didn’t peel as easily as they do when raw. But other than that taste was great.

    1. Maddie, the reason the shrimp is cooked in the shells is that the shells offer so much more flavor than if the shrimp were cooked without. One thing you can do is take a pair of scissors and cut down the back of the shrimp to the tail, which opens it up but retains the shells for flavor when cooking. When the shrimp is cooled, it’s a snap to devein and peel.

  3. Oh Great thanks!! I will definitely try that next time. The shrimp salad came out Awesome will make again. Thanks for the tip.

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