One of our favorite ways to present an appetizer-style salad is with Belgian endive spears. The cup shape is perfect to hold a scoop of your favorite cold salad. We have used this method to serve crab salad, turkey salad, chicken salad, and our favorite shrimp salad. It is a perfect way to serve guests at a party – no knives or forks, and the dressing is already on the salad. It is healthy and low carb. Tonight we decided on a light supper featuring our classic “Shrimp Salad on Endive Spears.”
Belgian endive is from the chicory family. It can be a little bitter, but not like Raddichio or Treviso. It does pair well with light salad ingredients and even mild cheeses. Belgian endive spears are crisp and their boat-like appearance is perfect to hold ingredients. Whether you pronounce it “ehn-dive” or “on-deev” (actually the latter is correct) it is delicious and makes a wonderful presentation. Endive is usually a light green in color, but the lighter the leaf the less bitter and more tasty. In Belgium it is referred to as “white gold.”
It is gaining in popularity here in the United States. We have no trouble finding lighter colored endive at our local markets.
The sauce for our salad is a classic for shrimp salad. Containing only five ingredients, it is simple to prepare and takes a mere five minutes to blend together. Mayonnaise is the base, but the “Old Bay” seasoning gives the shrimp that “sea shore” flavor that is found in many seafood recipes. Worcestershire also adds a nice bite to the shrimp salad.
Some recipes call for lemon juice since seafood is involved. We skip that since we usually find most dishes with lemon added will be too overpowering. If you add lemon, go lightly. Red wine vinegar will also work well in place of white wine vinegar. You can also use rice wine vinegar – it adds a nice flavor. We use garlic powder in our chicken and turkey salad, but the shrimp seems to go best with simple “Old Bay.”
We used a medium shrimp for our recipe. Make sure that there is no shell or tail for holding. They should be pre-cooked and chilled since this is a cold salad. Cutting them in half is a good idea so every bite will include your main ingredient. Diced celery and diced red onion will add a nice crunch and should be raw. Our special touch – small chunks of avocado! The creamy texture of the avocado is perfect with the cooked shrimp and crunchy vegetables.
Preparation is very simple. Two bowls for mixing. Combine the dressing ingredients in one bowl and add to the shrimp and vegetables in another and you are ready to scoop a healthy portion into each leaf of endive. That is all there is to making this quick and delicious salad.
We like a lot of dressing, but suggest you add the dressing to the shrimp and vegetable mixture a third at a time and lightly fold together. This will give you the perfect coating for your taste. The leftover sauce is a fantastic dipping sauce for your extra endive spears. Extra spears can also be chopped and added to a garden salad for the next day.
We garnish with a few cherry tomatoes for color and a little celery seed for a salty complimentary taste. No need to salt this salad since the Old Bay and celery seed will take care of that ingredient. You can add pepper if you like, but again the celery seed is our choice since the recipe contains chopped celery.
The salad can be made in advance and refrigerated – it is wonderful as an appetizer or quick hand-held salad at your next dinner party.
The carbs are so low in this dish and the health benefits are so great that you may wish to compliment the flavor with a small glass of wine! Those tastes together and even a little Manchego cheese on the side are tasty with this delicious Shrimp Salad on Endive. It is definitely Tasty Low Carb. Enjoy!
Shrimp Salad on Belgian Endive Spears
A perfect salad or appetizer that merits the Tasty Low Carb label. It is simple and delicious!
- 1 pound Shrimp (medium) cooked, peeled, deveined
- 1/4 cup Celery finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Red onion finely chopped
- 1 medium Avocado small chunks
- 10 Endive spears
- 5 small Cherry tomatoes halved
- Celery seed sprinkle
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, Old Bay, and Worcestershire.
Salad and Garnish
In a separate bowl, combine the cold shrimp (cut in half), celery, red onion, and avocado. When combined, fold in the dressing a third at a time for the coating desired for your taste.
Place a healthy scoop on each endive spear and top with cherry tomatoes and celery salt for garnish. Serve cold.
The dressing is excellent on any seafood salad and can serve as a vegetable dip with a little more mayonnaise.