Pretty in Pink Shrimp Salad with Pickled Rhubarb

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Minneapolis-based writer Kim Ode created a version of this salad for her cookbook Rhubarb Renaissance, putting two lovely pinks–rhubarb and shrimp–into a savory, sweet-tart combo. Ode’s salad includes a very-tart pickled rhubarb made with sherry vinegar, rice wine vinegar, honey and pomegranate molasses. Nice, but we liked Ode’s other pickled rhubarb–white balsamic, sugar, salt & mustard seeds–better with the shrimp.  We also added some bowtie pasta to the shrimp-salad mix. We agree with Ode that this dish is reminiscent of a ladies tea room salad, nestled in a leaf of butter lettuce. Great for summer picnics.


Makes 8 servings

Rhubarb Refrigerator Pickle Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 cup fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces


Shrimp Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat canola mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp pickling liquid from the rhubarb (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shrimp Salad Ingredients

  • 3 lbs cooked shrimp, bite-sized (use small shrimp; or, large shrimp cut in half)
  • 3 cups finely diced celery
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 8 servings bow-tie, or medium shell pasta cooked according to box directions, drained and chilled
  • 1/2 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 recipe shrimp salad dressing (above)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup finely diced pickled rhubarb (to taste)



  1. Make pickled rhubarb: in a small sauce pan, combine sugar, vinegar, salt and mustard seed and heat to boiling; cook until sugar dissolves. Place rhubarb in a pickling jar; pour hot pickling liquid over. Cover and let sit at room temperature 3 hours. Flavor of rhubarb pickles improves if refrigerated overnight.
  2. Make dressing: Combine all salad dressing ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour to marry flavors.
  3. Make salad: Toss shrimp, celery, onion and parsley together with cooked pasta. Dress with salad dressing, starting with about half of the dressing and adding as much of the remaining dressing as needed. Fold in chopped pickled rhubarb. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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