In 2017, I started a new blog series called Retro Cooking. I would look for recipes in vintage cookbooks (1970’s and older) and give them a try. Some were definitely more successful than others.
Almost two years and over 20 recipes later, I decided to revisit the recipes I tried and see if I could modernize them a bit, keeping their essence with a few modern twists.
I kick-started the Retro Cooking series with a 50’s Shrimp Salad from the Gurney Recipe Box, so it seemed quite fitting as a first recipe to revisit (and let’s be honest, I had cooked shrimp in the freezer so it was the most convenient).
When I made the original recipe, I remembered enjoying it but here were some of my issues with it:
- The addition of hard boiled eggs made the salad a bit dense.
- The quantity of mayonnaise was outrageous.
- Everything had to be cut very small as it was suggested to be served on cucumber slices.
For the modernized version, I decided to use lighter flavors, forgo the mayo for plain greek yogurt and chop the shrimp and celery more roughly to get more texture. I also took out the eggs as I didn’t feel they added much to the recipe. While serving the salad on cucumber slices was interesting and tasty, it wasn’t super convenient to eat so, this time, I served it in lettuce wraps and mini pita bread pockets.
Revisited 50's Shrimp Salad
– 12 oz of shrimp, cooked, peeled, and roughly chopped
– 4-6 celery stalks, roughly chopped
– 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
– Juice of one lemon
– 1 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
– Handful of fresh basil, chopped
– Handful of fresh dill, chopped
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl, make the sauce by whisking together the yogurt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and herbs.
2. In a large bowl, mix the shrimp, celery and sauce.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. This shrimp salad can be eaten on its own, in a lettuce wrap, flour tortilla, or pita bread.
This recipe is super simple, fresh and perfect for the warmer weather. I put a lot of celery on purpose to add an extra crunch as well as lightening the recipe, calorie-wise. While it was inspired by the retro version, I made a point to use fresher and healthier ingredients (Greek yogurt, celery, lemon, fresh herbs) rather than the truck-ton of mayonnaise and jarred pickles.