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Author Notes: Dill is typically the go-to herb used in seafood salads, but try these with fresh basil and see if your world doesn't expand just a bit. Scoops of sweet bay shrimp salad are nestled in butter lettuce leaves, ready to be passed as hand-held salads - perfect for an outdoor dinner of burgers, brats, or ribs, where everyone is going to be using their hands. Serve with extra napkins. —boulangere
Makes 10 individual salads
- 8 ounces bay shrimp, rinsed and well drained (press them a bit)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 shallot, 1/4" dice
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 6 basil leaves, shredded
- 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- Grinds of pepper
- Generous pinch red pepper flakes
- 10 leaves of butter lettuce
- 1/2 tomato, 1/2" cubes
- 6 additional basil leaves, in thin ribbons for garnish
- Coarse sea salt for garnish
- Add all ingredients, except the lettuce, tomato cubes, final basil ribbons and coarse sea salt for garnishes, to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to blend and break up the shrimp. Don't purée - you definitely want some texture to remain. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Arrange butter lettuce leaves on a large serving platter. It's fine if you need to squeeze them together a bit. Place a large tablespoon of shrimp salad in the center of each leaf. If you have some left over, divide it among the leaves. Set a tomato cube in the center of each dollop of shrimp salad.
- Chiffonade 6 basil leaves. "Chiffonade" means ribbon. Remove the stems from your basil leaves. Lay them one on top of the other, matching them up at the stem ends. Beginning at the stems ends, roll the leaves into a tight cylinder, sort of like a tiny cigar. Lay the roll on your board, then slice the leaves the short way into a series of ribbons. Toss them with your fingers to separate them. Garnish the shrimp salads with them. Finally, ganish the salads, especially the lettuce leaves, with some coarse sea salt.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mayonnaise-Based Salad
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