Growing up in a large family with little money, I don’t think I even tasted shrimp until I was in my early teens. The first time was in a pasta salad that I ate at a friend’s house down on the CT shore and I remember it to this day.
It was a simple recipe of penne pasta, shrimp, canned black olives, and mayonnaise. I was skeptical at first – though I was interested in trying shrimp, the black olives and mayonnaise dressing seemed like a weird combination to me.
Eventually, after I ate the more familiar hot dog and potato salad on my plate, I finally gave it a shot.
The shrimp itself was delicious, but I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the combination of shrimp, black olives, and mayonnaise was incredible!
That experience stuck with me as a culinary milestone even years later, not only because it was the first time I ever tasted shrimp, but also because it opened my eyes to experimenting with ingredients that wouldn’t typically be combined to make something new and interesting.
I’m not sure why, but I never attempted to make that recipe at home, nor did I ever have it again at anyone’s house. Then a few weeks ago I was brainstorming low carb recipe ideas for the blog, and I remembered that salad.
I decided to finally make it – but with my own keto friendly spin, subbing cauliflower for the pasta and adding a few other flavors to bring it all together.
It was a huge hit! Forget about the fact that it’s low carb and gluten free – no matter what you’re way of eating, this is the perfect summer BBQ and picnic salad!
Hearty from the cauliflower, it’s also creamy and refreshing with a tangy sweetness that keeps it from being heavy.
The olives add a savory brininess that complements the cool snap of the shrimp in every bite – and the hint of dill marries it all together and keeps you coming back for more.
Seriously addicting, I wish I’d made this months ago so we could have been enjoying it all Summer long!
Depending on where you live, there are at least a few weeks left of Summer weather for you to make this low carb cauliflower salad and have it with some friends on the patio or at the beach.
Just be sure to keep it cold since seafood and mayonnaise, while delicious together can be dangerous if left out in the heat.
I’ll be interested to see which of you Peeps are intrepid enough to try this unusual combo and report back with your feedback! I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was at how amazing it is, but either way let me know what you thought in the comments!
- 5 cups cauliflower florets, cooked and chilled
- 2 cups cooked large shrimp (approx. 1 lb) chilled and cut in half lenthwise
- ⅓ cup diced celery
- ½ cup sliced canned black olives
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ tsp celery seed
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp granulated sugar substitute (I use this one)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently until well coated.
- Chill for half an hour if possible to let the flavors meld.
- Serve cold.
Can’t get enough low carb shrimp recipes? Try my Low Carb Bang Bang Shrimp with Asian Slaw, Shrimp and Chorizo Dirty Rice, Shrimp Fra Diavalo over Spaghetti Squash, or Brazilian Shrimp Stew recipes next!
New to the low carb lifestyle and need some help? Try my FREE 3 day keto kickstart menu plan to get into ketosis fast! Then follow it up with any of my 12 free weekly menu plans – complete with shopping and prep lists!