If you get invited to potluck dinners (I never do, no one invites me to anything) this is what you should bring. Everyone will be totally impressed with your fabulously tasty and completely gorgeous contribution to dinner. I love boiled shrimp. Resist the temptation to buy cooked shrimp. Seriously. RESIST. It isn’t hard to boil shrimp. You know how to boil water, right? Just add the shrimp (and a little salt and some bay leaves) and cook them for two minutes. They are so tender and delicious, and not tough and tired like cooked shrimp you defrost and eat straight out of the bag. One side note – this is the third, or fourth, or sixteenth (I can’t keep track) recipe I’ve posted using the dill sauce my friend Barbara taught me how to make. I am not sure how I lived all these years without this sauce.
Shrimp Pasta Salad with Dill Dressing (makes 6-8 servings)
- 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ pound small pasta (elbow macaroni, curly fusilli or something similar)
- 2 ears of corn
- 6 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 ripe avocado, cubed
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- one bunch dill (a big bunch, not a measly tiny bunch) – cut the tough stems off
- ½ cup chives
- 3 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt and two bay leaves. Turn the heat down to simmer, add the shrimp. Cook for two minutes. Drain. Run shrimp under cold water. Coarsely chop the shrimp.
Process mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, capers and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. I love, love, love the color of this sauce. It is the most fabulous VERDANT green.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. You want the pasta cooked through but slightly al dente. Add the corn to the pasta water for the last two minutes. Drain the pasta and the corn. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl. Cut the kernels off of the corn. Add the shrimp, scallions, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado and dressing to the shrimp. Toss in the corn kernels too. Mix gently. Serve. Can be made up to ten hours ahead. We keep ours and eat them as leftovers the second day – the bright green color diminishes slightly, but other than that it’s really quite lovely.