This lemony, spicy shrimp salad gets an exotic spin from harissa paste and dukkah seasoning blend. It’s deceptively simple and comes together in a few minutes for an elegant lunch or light dinner.
Harissa and dukkah are two North African seasoning blends that are loaded with flavor, and I’ve enjoyed playing with them to add personality to all kinds of dishes. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may recall my recipe of a few weeks ago, Broiled Salmon with Harissa and Dukkah. If you’re unfamilar with these ingredients, check out that post for more information. Suffice it to say, I’ve become enamored with these two flavor boosters and have had some fun experimenting in the kitchen with them.
I recently found myself with some extra cooked shrimp from the previous evening’s dinner and was contemplating how I might use it for lunch. A classic shrimp salad with a healthy mayonnaise-based dressing came to mind, but I was in the mood for something with a bit more punch. A little harissa and dukkah seemed like the perfect addition. This Spicy Shrimp Salad recipe is a simple riff based on what I had in my refrigerator and what felt appealing in the moment. Some of the best dishes come together that way.
You could follow this recipe as is, or you could use it as a jumping off point for your own inspiration and modify it to suit your taste (or whatever you have in your own refrigerator!). For instance, just about any already-cooked protein, such as chicken or tuna, would make an easy substitution. If you don’t have harissa, use sriracha or hot sauce. If you don’t like things spicy, leave it out altogether. The crunchy texture from the celery and red bell pepper is great, but you could substitute whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. A sprinkling of dukkah on top adds an extra layer of flavor and texture, but I imagine toasted sesame seeds or other chopped nuts would be tasty as well.
What’s in your fridge or pantry that might inspire an interesting new dish? We’d love to hear about what you come up with!
- 8 oz / 227 g cooked shrimp, sliced into bite-size pieces
- 3 oz / 85 g celery, diced (about 1½ stalks)
- 2 oz / 57 g red bell pepper, diced (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 stalk green onion, sliced
- 2 oz / 57 g mayonnaise (1/4 cup)
- 1 oz / 28 g fresh lemon juice (2 tbsp)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- ½ tsp harissa paste (can subsititute sriracha or other hot sauce), more or less to taste
- 2 oz / 57 g fresh spinach leaves (about 2 cups)
- 2 tsp dukkah seasoning blend or toasted sesame seeds
- lemon wedges for serving (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, lemon juice, zest, and harissa. Fold in shrimp and veggies, and season to taste with salt and pepper, as well as additional lemon juice and/or harissa, if desired.
- Divide the spinach leaves among two plates and arrange half of salad on top of each. Garnish with dukkah or toasted sesame seeds.
*I use Living Cookbook 2015, along with package information and data from www.nutritiondata.self.com, to calculate the nutritional information for my recipes. Thus, I can make no guarantees as to the accuracy.