Jun 19, 2012

Summer Salads at I Heart Cooking Clubs

Southerners love their salads.
Of course, you know these aren't healthy salads full of lettuce and dried cranberries and nuts.

Our salads are the creamy variety.  Creamy macaroni salads, potato salads, and sweet pea salads. Chicken salad.  Coleslaw.  If there's no mayo, it ain't a salad.

Mayo is a food I have a love-hate with.  It's one of those things that I'd rather not work with because looking at it skeeves me out.  But there's no denying that those sweet potato fries are a jillion and three times better dipped in chipotle mayo.  And turkey sandwiches go from "meh" to "my!" with a smear of basil mayo.

This shrimp salad from Rick Bayless uses avocado, not mayo, to get that just right creaminess.

The avocado dressing reminded me of the first time I ate guacamole salad at a dive Tex-Mex restaurant in Bryan Texas.  I loved the guac paired with lettuce.  So, I decided to top our tostadas with lettuce and spoon the shrimp salad on top.

Tostadas Topped w/ Avocado Dressed Shrimp from Rick Bayless

This is supposed to be served on mini tostadas as an appetizer.  I used full size and we called it supper.  We all liked this one a lot.  Great flavors in the avocado dressing--lime, onion, tomato, some heat from jalapeno.  Nice colors.  Festive and fun.  This may be The Husband's favorite Rick Bayless recipe so far.  For me, it's second to Potatoes w/ Chorizo, but a very close second.

Know what I liked best about the shrimp salad?  This was a super-awesome meal for a hot, humid summer night.  Didn't have to cook a single thing!

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Tostadas Topped w/ Avocoado Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana
adapted from Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless
Also found at Frontera recipes

about 2 1/2 cups small, peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
1/4 medium white onion, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 large jalapeno, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 medium avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and chopped
1/3 cup (loosely packed) chopped parsley*
hot sauce
6-8 tostadas

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onion and tomato.  Measure the lime juice into a blender.  Cover and turn on.  Drop in the jalapeno.  When chopped, turn off and add the avocado and parsley.  Blend until smooth.  Thin to a "creamy dressing" consistence with water if needed--no more than about 2 to 3 tablespoons. Taste and season with salt and hot sauce.

Mix the dressing into the shrimp mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate.  When you're ready to serve, top tostadas with lettuce.  Spoon the shrimp a la mexicana on top and serve

*I use parsley in place of cilantro since no one in my family (except me) likes cilantro.

Need more summer salads?  Visit I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Summer Salad theme.
Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

Also linking with

Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous & Consciousness


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July's theme: "Beat the Heat/No Cook"

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  1. This is the kind of salad I like on my tostadas!

    I enjoy mayonnaise my issue usually with it-is when it is gobbed on and the true flavors get lost.

    This rocks. Thanks for sharing.


  2. OMG Michelle! I'm making this ASAP. I love shrimp, I love avocado, I love a good crunchy tortilla. This pretty much sounds like summer paradise. :)

  3. I've had my eye on this shrimp salad for a while! So glad it was good, now I am definitely making it.

  4. OK now you are getting into my favorite food group. Lol These look delicious. When you get a chance pop over to check out the cool list of bloggers that I picked for the Sunshine Award:)

  5. This looks wonderful! What a great idea, and so perfect for this heat.
    I have everything for these at home - except the tomato.. but I do have red peppers... I think I'll make them this week!

  6. Oh my this looks good! I love creamy salads. Avocado and shrimp are often served as a starter here in the UK, with the shrimp in a thousand island style dressing and then stuffed in halved avocados. Your recipe sounds SO much better! I love the spices, and the contrast of the creamy salad with the crunchy tostadas. (I'd have to use parsley too, as no one in our family likes cilantro either!)

  7. Oh wow! This salad sounds out of this world and your photos are fab! My jalapenos are ready to harvest and of course, I always have shrimp, and I love avocado, too. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. This is a really beautiful dish and I can so see enjoying this on a warm day with a nice cold margarita! or two!

  9. This looks so delicious! The dressing sounds really good, I got to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  10. This sounds so great and cool and creamy and I would love to try it out. But I so hate to admit it since we are good friends but I don't know who Rick Bayless is:( I hope I don't lose you friendship over this, Lol. No, seriously I am on my way to research this Rick out because you come up with the best dishes from his influence. Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays again this week.

  11. When avocado meets shrimp it's like something magical happens. I should've chose this dish.

  12. Your Tostado looks very special, the combination of Shrimp and Avocado is one of my favorites, as is Rick Bayless. This is a great recipe! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing on Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. Great inspiration for a summer meal! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Oh my these look delectable--the dressing alone I could just drink up. So nice to have the creamy texture without the mayo. Great pick! ;-)

  15. I actually love making mayonnaise, but I really love the idea of using avocado as an alternative for a creamy dressing. I bet this is gorgeous with the shrimp.

    Thanks so much for sharing at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo

  16. This will have to be made this week in my house! Perfect for the hot weather that has now arrived!

  17. This sounds so yummy! I never had avocado until adulthood and always looking for new ways to eat it. Hope you are well otherwise!

  18. Very funny about Southerns and their salads. This salad looks healthy and delicious. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

  19. Yum! Yum! this looks good. Thanks for sharing on Southern Sundays.

  20. Congrats your salad is being featured on foodie friday. Stop by and pick up your featured button. Thanks again.

  21. Simply scrumptious!

    I found you via Foodie Friday. Sadly I missed the deadline for linking in. Have a great week.

  22. I now know what my Ladies-wot-Brunch will be eating next week! ;) Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. I just wanted you to know that I included your recipe in a post about avocados. I will be tweeting about it this week too.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments.