We’ve been eating lunch at Brophy Brothers in Santa Barbara, California for at least 22 years. It’s a mainstay on the breakwater and worth a visit the next time you’re in town. I don’t think the core menu has changed in all these years. My eldest son is in love with the clam chowder. My latter born and I are more partial to the shrimp and avocado salad. It has a bright, crisp flavor. When we pressed the waiter about the salad dressing he hinted that they key was, of all things, celery. We came home and set about replicating the dressing. Here’s our version. It’s very, very light and I must admit – the celery in it is really delicious.
Shrimp Salad with Lemon/Celery Dressing (serves 4-6)
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup 80/20 oil (80% olive oil, 20% canola oil)
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 2 lbs cooked shrimp*
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cup black olives
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- chopped chives and green onions for garnish
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the apple cider vinegar. Place 2 stalks of the celery in a Cuisinart and process until it’s in teeny tiny pieces. Scrape it out of the Cuisinart and place in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Place the dressing ingredients in the food processor including the remaining two pieces of celery and the apple cider vinegar and process until smooth. Once this is blended pour it into the bowl with the processed celery pieces.
In a serving bowl toss together the greens, shrimp, avocados, black olives, hard-boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes. Toss with the salad dressing. Serve immediately.
*If you want to start with raw shrimp – rather than buying it already prepared – I suggest using the following method to cook it. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil until quite hot in a non-stick skillet. Add the shrimp. Stir quickly over high heat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Cook until just pink. Using a slotted spoon remove shrimp from the pan and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to the salad. You can make the shrimp ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you need it.