Bright, fresh, creamy, herby - Asparagus and Shrimp Potato Salad is a delicious variation on the traditional. (Skip to recipe.)
When the days are hot, I crave cold food. Salads, ice-creams, and fruits. We are in the full swing of glorious summer here in northern Alberta. My garden is growing like crazy (as are all the weeds). We have been eating fresh asparagus in many incarnations almost daily. We especially love it raw and crunchy in salads, but oven-roasted comes in a close second. And then there's lightly steamed to dip into Hollandaise sauce or poached egg yolk, or tossed in spicy stir fries, sauteed and folded into omelets . . .
Oh my, what choices.
I love going into the garden early in the mornings with my sharp knife and a basket in hand to search out the newest spears poking out of the earth. As soon as they're tall enough, they're sliced off for the kitchen, but I always crunch on one or two right out in the garden. To me they're like a grassy version of fresh green peas. Crunchy and juicy.
I love asparagus raw in salads.
And I love potato salad in the summertime.
And I love the tang of lemon in anything.
This salad combines all three.
It's a bright, fresh twist on a classic potato salad and wonderful for a summer luncheon.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: For this salad it's best to use firm potatoes that stay together when boiled. Don't use baking potatoes as they are too fluffy and don't retain their shape in the salad.
If you don't have fresh asparagus available, try substituting defrosted frozen peas or diced celery.
Tarragon is a wonderful complement to seafood, but chervil or dill would work beautifully here, too. Even parsley or basil would go well with the other ingredients, if you don't have fresh tarragon. Experiment and make it your own.
If you have any leftovers for the next day, the lemon flavour will have virtually disappeared as most of soaks into the potatoes. So give the salad a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice to freshen it up before serving on day two.
Asparagus and Shrimp Potato Salad with a Creamy Lemon Tarragon Dressing
- 2½ lbs (1.15kg) firm waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (2 lbs or 900gm weight after peeling)
- 1 lb (450gm) cooked shrimp (fresh or frozen), tails removed
- 1 bundle fresh asparagus (about 1lb or 450gm)
- 1 cup finely sliced green onions (~ 6 or 8 )
For the dressing:
- ½ cup (120ml) good mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (or chervil, dill, parsley, basil, or cilantro)
Steam the potato cubes in a steamer insert or basket over simmering water until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and let the potatoes dry off and cool to room temperature. (You can speed up the cooling process by spreading them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.)
Snap the tough ends of the raw asparagus spears, then cut them into thin slices on a steep diagonal.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Gently toss the dressing with the potatoes, shrimp, asparagus and green onions.
Serve immediately or chill for a few hours.
Serves 4 to 6.
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