Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
This is a Recipezaar contest creation designed to be a kid-pleasing salad. It makes a salad large enough for a crowd, so it's great for picnics, potlucks and summertime parties. And it is packed with lots of fresh kid-pleasing ingredients including a fun seashell-shaped pasta with shrimp and crab flakes dressed lightly in a sweet, creamy strawberry dressing. Take advantage of the summer fruit offerings by garnishing the top of this salad with fresh, sweet strawberry halves, which is sure to appeal to all the kids in your household. The gouda cheese offers a nice smoky element against the zesty onion bits, and the walnuts provide a bit of texture.
- 1 (22 ounce) package small shell pasta
- 8 ounces small baby shrimp, precooked
- 8 ounces imitation crabmeat, cut into small pieces
- 1 small red onion, chopped finely
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 ounces smoked gouda cheese, diced
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 3 tablespoons dried tarragon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 strawberries, halved
- 2⁄3 cup mashed strawberry (about 8-10 medium size strawberries)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 -2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Cook seashell pasta according to package directions and let stand in sink to cool and allow excess water to drain. Place cooled, drained pasta in a large salad bowl.
- Add the shrimp, crab, onion, celery, cheese, walnuts, tarragon and salt and pepper to the pasta. With a large spoon, gently mix the salad ingredients until well blended.
- With a potato masher. mash about 8 medium-size strawberries until you have 2/3 cup of mashed strawberries. (You can also puree them in a food processor if you want a thinner dressing.) Add yogurt and mix well. Then add 1-2 teaspoons or more (if desired) of sugar to reach desired sweetness. Stir well.
- Add the creamy strawberry dressing to the salad mixture, and blend thoroughly with a large spoon. Chill until ready to serve.
- For added color, garnish the top of the salad with any remaining strawberry halves.
The texture was very nice, with the crunch of the nuts and the different crunch of the celery and onion offsetting the soft pasta and creamy dressing. The flavor wasn't bad, but not notably interesting, either. There's relatively a lot of pasta, which is nice if you're trying to stretch, but maybe a little more "goodie" would improve the taste. The recipe was confusing about where the strawberries go. They're listed under the salad section of the ingredients, in halves, but only mentioned in the instructions as part of the dressing and as garnish. I decided to go with the instructions, but I think the salad would be better with some strawberries mixed in the pasta (chopped, not as big as halves).