Years ago, Clawson’s Restaurant and Pub in beautiful Beaufort, N.C., served a delicious shrimp salad in a pita pocket. Beaufort is on North Carolina’s crystal coast, right outside of Atlantic Beach and Morehead City, and has a great collection of wonderful restaurants and bars for such a small area.
For some insane reason, this dish disappeared from Clawson’s menu quite a while back. However, ever since the first time I had it, I’ve tried to replicate the recipe at home and love my latest low-calorie, low-fat version. I hope you will, too!
Ingredients (this will yield 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your pita bread)
- 12 oz. bag of frozen, cooked small shrimp, 71-90 count (the smaller salad shrimp works well, too)
- ¼ of a fresh lemon
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced small (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced small (remove the fleshy membrane and seeds)
- ½ cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced small
- 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons white wine (I used Hess Chardonnay this time)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (double this amount if you have fresh dill)
- Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
- Pita bread
- Tomato and avocado, diced (optional)
Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator, rinse, dry and add to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh lemon juice. Add the onion, celery, red bell pepper and cucumber and mix well.
Make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, white wine, mustard, dill weed, salt and pepper.
Add the dressing to the shrimp mixture in small batches – you don’t want to over-saturate the shrimp. Many times I have just a little bit of dressing left over. Refrigerate the shrimp salad for at least an hour so that the flavors meld together well.
Cut the pita bread in half to make two pockets. Lightly toast. Fill with the shrimp salad.
I usually add some diced tomato and avocado to the pockets at this point (rather than adding these ingredients to the salad itself, as they tend to get soggy.)
I especially love how the shrimp and avocado taste so good together. By the way, if you are watching your carbs and want to ditch the bread, just serve this salad on some lettuce or spring mix.
Pair this with some cut-up fruit and a glass of white wine for a light, refreshing and oooh, sooo good meal!
Bon appétit, and eat, drink and be merry!