Cook the Book: Sky Terrace Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Cook the Book: Sky Terrace Shrimp and Avocado Salad

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

This Shrimp and Avocado Salad from One Big Table by Molly O'Neill comes from the glory days of department store dining. Located in Houston, Texas, in the Sakowitz department store, the Sky Terrace restaurant catered to ladies of means, serving up delicate dishes like this remoulade-dressed shrimp salad over a fan of avocado.

As is the case with most things involving copious amounts of mayo and iceberg lettuce, this salad is retro through and through, and it's pretty easy to imagine it being enjoyed circa 1963. But unlike other retro plates, this salad is packed with bright flavors that keep it fresh, exciting and memorable.

The shrimp are dressed in a creamy remoulade that blends in spinach and scallions for a green sauce that coats bright pink shrimp beautifully. Served over a bed of shredded iceberg and sliced avocados, it's a really pretty salad—composed and put together, much like the ladies that enjoyed it at The Sky Terrace.

Adapted from One Big Table by Molly O'Neill. Copyright © 2011. Published by Simon & Schuster. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:6


  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cooked spinach, well drained and finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, hard boiled, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or creole-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • Kosher salt
  • Hot sauce
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, boiled, peeled, deveined, and chilled
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
  • 3 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced 1⁄2 inch thick


  1. 1.

    To make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, spinach, egg, garlic, scallions, Worcestershire, mustard, lemon juice, and anchovy paste, and process until smooth. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste and transfer to a large bowl.

  2. 2.

    To make the salad: gently stir the shrimp, celery, and lemon juice into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. 3.

    To serve, divide the shredded lettuce evenly among six plates, fan the avocado slices over the lettuce, and top with the shrimp salad.