In my ongoing quest to somehow turn every dish into an hors d’oeuvre – can’t explain it. Everything just seems to taste better bite-sized – I set out to reconstruct my mother’s decades old Seven Layer Salad recipe in miniature.
The Salad, as it’s known in my house, is a multilayered concoction made up of chopped fresh spinach, diced onions and celery, thawed frozen peas, sliced mushrooms, sliced hard-cooked eggs, bacon, shredded cheddar, Miracle Whip and shrimp, clearly not the seven layers the name suggests. Once layered in a large serving bowl, the salad’s refrigerated overnight and magically the seemingly unrelated flavors meld together, creating a tasty salad perfect for any potluck occasion where retro foods made with Miracle Whip are appreciated. (What else do people do with Miracle Whip?)
For my Honey-I-Shrunk-The-Salad version, I eliminated a few of the ingredients (spinach, peas, mushrooms and eggs) and serve the shrimp salad in cherry tomatoes. Yes, cherry tomatoes (not to be confused with the smaller grape tomatoes) are small and it does take a few minutes to hollow them out, but they’re the perfect bite-sized vessel and once hollowed, filled and garnished they look smashing on a serving platter. For a larger, appetizer-sized portion, halved Roma tomatoes would work well.
Shrimp Salad in Tomato Cups
1 tablespoon butter
¾ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
45 cherry tomatoes
¼ cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼ cup finely grated cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
In a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside to cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut 1/8-inch off the bottom of each tomato and use a small spoon or melon baller to remove the seeds. Arrange tomatoes on platter. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place shrimp on cutting board and chop finely. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, miracle whip or mayonnaise, onion, celery, bacon, cheese, salt and pepper.
Spoon shrimp mixture into tomato cups. Top each tomato with one parsley leaf and serve.
Makes about 45 tomato cups.