A light, refreshing salad full of chilled shrimp, crunchy fennel, radishes and pistachios, and tons of fresh herbs, all tossed in a tangy crema dressing.
We’re just going to make it a Canada-themed week. Sound good? It was Boxing Day on Monday, after all. Did anybody else hit the crazy good sale at Lululemon? I’m not sure if they did it at all of their stores, but we have a Lululemon Outlet near my parents’ house and, boy, was I glad my mom still wanted to treat me to some “Christmas presents.” I pretty much cleaned up and will not be needing any other sort of workout/athleisure wear in the near future.
But I digress. The real reason I’m here today is to tell you about this Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema. It’s my take on one of my favorite things my girlfriend and I tasted on our trip to Quebec City earlier this month, and it is sooooo delicious!
We actually came across the restaurant we had this at by accident, after the place we were planning on going to had no availability for that night. The host at that restaurant recommended that we head to this one down the street, which is how we ended up at Le Renard et La Chouette. This place was legit FRENCH, and Johanna and I were a bit overwhelmed by the menu. We quickly decided on the Chef’s Tasting Menu so that the decision was left up to him rather than us.
Our first course consisted of sautéed mushrooms with smoked salmon and garlic cream plus an amazing cold shrimp salad with fennel, radish, horseradish cream and pistachios. I immediately fell in love with both and knew I had to try to recreate them at home. This Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema is my take on that second dish, and boy, am I proud of it! I’m so excited I took good notes because this dish is spot. on.
I initially wanted to do everything from scratch (naturally) but after the first round of uncooked shrimp I bought from the store smelled a little funny, I decided to go to a more respectable grocer in my area and just purchase the pre-cooked stuff. I also realize that this is probably the preference of most of you readers out there and that not everyone likes to make EVERYTHING from scratch.
So, we take our pre-cooked, thawed shrimp, remove the tails and cut into bite-size pieces. We don’t want any de-tailing to get in the way of our rapid consumption of this scrumptious salad.
We then toss the shrimp with all the goodies: radish, fennel, fresh chives and fennel fronds, pistachios….Guys, the pistachios are really the icing on the cake (or the topping on the salad?) here. They MAKE the dish.
And the crema, ohhhhhh the crema. We can’t forget you. I have to admit, not being a huge horseradish lover, I was a bit hesitant when the words “horseradish cream” came out of the Chef’s mouth during his presentation. But I have to tell you that it complements all of the flavors in this dish just perfectly and I promise you won’t even be able to tell it’s horseradish in there giving the crema it’s tang.
Because I was obviously all about the shortcuts for this recipe (the madness of the holidays will do that to you) I decided to make my “crema” out of plain Greek yogurt. I also added some lemon juice to up the “tang” factor without upping the horseradish flavor. You’re welcome.
This dish is amazing because it is quick and easy, but anyone you serve it to will no doubt be impressed. There are so many unique flavors that come together to create a healthy, easy dish, I think it would be the perfect addition to your New Year’s Eve (or Day!) spread. It’s also a perfect complement to champagne (or just about any white wine for that matter) and will provide a solid base layer for all of your other indulgences that night 😉
I’m at my parents’ for the week mixing up work and play, and loving all of this quality time I get to spend with them. I hope you are having (or got to have) some quality time with all of your loved ones over this holiday season. Stay tuned for a super-fun Canadian-themed cocktail coming up on Friday. It’s for sure one for the books!
Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema
- 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, tails removed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 of a fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pistachio nutmeats, toasted
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, fennel bulb, pistachios, radishes, 2 tablespoons fresh chives and fennel fronds.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, horseradish and salt. Pour this dressing onto the shrimp salad and toss to combine. Top with more chopped fresh chives to serve.
Cheers to a healthy and Happy New Year!