Shrimp and Pea Pasta Salad with Cashews
Years ago, when I was still living and working in Vancouver, Washington was the first time I ever had this delightful salad.
I worked downtown in a small office building. Every day around noon, two women would enter, both carrying large wicker baskets. Not picnic baskets - more like the type you see Southern ladies gathering their flowers in. Both baskets were laden with sandwiches, salads, cookies and other delicious treats.
These women didn't have their own restaurant. They rented a local restaurant kitchen and every morning - early - they would cook and put together these lovely lunchtime meals then - on foot - visit all the area offices until the baskets were empty.
I never got their recipe for this dish - pretty sure I hinted around and was just politely smiled at. My version is pure guesswork, but it's one of my family's very favorites. I took it once to a small get together and ever after was asked to bring it along to other parties. On one such occasion I wasn't feeling up to snuff, but was asked if I could prepare it anyway and someone would be by to pick it up!
It is incredibly easy to make and an ego booster to tote to a potluck! I have printed the recipe out for so many people, I decided to share it.
Hope you enjoy!
- ½ pound small shells pasta, cooked to package directions
- 1 pound small salad shrimp, cooked
- 1½ cup green onions, including tops, sliced
- 1½ cup peas, frozen, UNCOOKED
- 1½ cup cashews, whole or halved
- ½ cup green bell pepper, diced (optional)
- 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, small cubes (optional)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1½ Tablespoons fresh dill, half this if using dried dill
- salt & pepper, to taste
- In a good sized bowl add mayonnaise, sour cream, and dill. Mix well and let stand while you assemble the salad.
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Give a good stir and add your dressing.
- Place in refrigerator until ready to serve - at least a half hour. The longer it sits the better chance the flavors have to marry.
- Serve and enjoy!