The Crab Louie has been a San Francisco classic since the early 1900s. Since there has been no crab around this kitchen since the infamous crab cake incident of 2011, I substituted the only shellfish that has yet to make an attempt on my life, shrimp! I’ve never actually had a shrimp/crab Louie before, so I don’t have basis for comparison, but this salad was delicious. It made an extremely enjoyable and beautiful lunch. It might seem like there are a lot of ingredients, but it came together very easily. I definitely plan on make it again. I think it would be perfect for a fancy luncheon or if you have guests.
A traditional Louie salad involves hard-boiled eggs, but since cannot stand the sight or texture of egg yolks, I left them out. They definitely were not missed. I also used kalamata olives instead of regular black olives, mainly because they were what I had on hand, but they also provide way more flavor. Every other ingredient was fresh and crisp. Living in Southern California, we get amazing produce year round. Tomatoes and avocados are at their prime and we are still lucky enough to find great asparagus at farmers’ market.
The dressing is similar to 1000 Island dressing, but not quite. I read at least 20 different Louie dressing recipes and in the end just picked the ingredients that sounded best to me. I like my dressings on the tangy side and most of them sounded like they would be pretty sweet. I used chili sauce, which I think is super sweet to begin with, so I did not add any extra sugar. I also used dill pickle relish and more lemon juice than most called for. This helped to cut the sweetness (it still had some, but not too much) and thinned out the dressing. Gloopy dressing is never a good thing. I also added Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and paprika for color and flavor.
Shrimp Louie Salad
For the Louie Dressing:
- 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup ketchup or chili sauce
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons dill pickle relish
- 1 Tabelspoon Worcestshire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail removed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped (almost shredded)
- 1/4 pound asparagus, blanched
- 2 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters,
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced lengthwise thinly
- 1/4 red onion, finely diced
- In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in fridge while cooking shrimp and assembling salad.
- Heat oven to 400F. Combine shrimp and all other ingredients in a small bowl or plastic bag. Toss to coat. Place the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until shrimp are nice and pink. Let cool slightly while you assemble the salad.
- Divide lettuce between two plates. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the plates of lettuce. Serve with dressing on the side and enjoy!