Shrimp and Cucumber Salad with Spruce Tips

We hiked up to the top of Mt. Taylor last weekend, and I was excited to discover at least two different varieties of spruce tips! I've been working on all kinds of fabulous new ideas for using them.

I was inspired by these gorgeous little "Salt and Pepper" cucumbers we got from East Mountain Organics at the growers' market, and some lovely Gulf shrimp from the Co-Op. Spruce tip mayonnaise needs to be made ahead of time so the flavor can infuse, but if you make extra, I bet it would also be great on BLTs or with artichokes!

1 t. spruce tips
1 T. mayonnaise
1 pound cucumbers
1/2 pound shrimp
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

First, make spruce tip mayo. Finely chop, or better yet, grind the spruce tips in a mortar and pestle. Mix with mayonnaise and refrigerate overnight or longer, in an airtight container.

Bring heavily salted water to boil in a medium-size saucepan. Cook the shrimp for just about 2 minutes, until they turn pink and firm. Drain and chill in ice water. Peel and chop into half-inch dice. Chop cucumbers into half-inch dice. Toss all ingredients in a pretty bowl. Serves 2.


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