Oregon Shrimp Salad-stuffed Avocado with Cucumber Goddess Dressing

| October 30, 2010 | 2 Comments

There have only been a few times in my life when I’ve eaten a meal somewhere and the dish makes a lasting impression, its flavors etching its memory into my tastebuds and mind. 

Such was the case many years ago when I was eating at a now-defunct restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, called Celebration. They served food family style, bringing bowls of sides to your table so that you could share them.  The first time I ate there we opted for cucumber dressing for our salad. That dressing has inspired me to try and try again to recreate it, as the restaurant wouldn’t part with their recipe. 

Cucumber and dill were the underlying flavors. The rest I had to guess. 

Yogurt? Tried and failed. 

Sour cream? One step closer. 

Ah, buttermilk! Another step closer. 

The flavors came out close but the consistency of the dressing was too runny. Xanthan gum? Eech. No. Mayonnaise? Bingo! 

I would  make big batches of this dressing and use them as dip for carrots and celery in addition to just using it as a salad dressing. It’s not exactly a green goddess dressing, which was popular once upon a time (during the ’60s, I think) but you can’t find it anymore. But it’s close to it. I wondered if the restaurant was inspired by green goddess dressing to come up with the cucumber dressing. 

And so when it came time to prepare a light dinner for the family this week, I was browsing the aisle at Fred Meyer when I realized a lot more people than usual were there and many items seemed to be on sale. I asked one of the clearks what the deal was, and she told me Fred Meyer was celebrating its 150th year and the last day of the sale was that day. I was at the seafood counter when I discovered this, and the cooked Oregon shrimp beckoned to me from the clamshell bowl sunken in the ice display. At $2.99 it was a bargain and the idea hit me to stuff some avocados with these mini-shrimp and surround each one on a bed of salad and top it off with my dressing, which by now had been christened cucumber goddess dressing. 

And so to the produce aisle I went to get some avocados. I was reaching for some Haas avocados when I noticed the pale pear-shaped green giants in the bin right next to the Haas avocados, which were 99 cents each. The giant avocados were 2 for $3. My resistance melted. I was mesmerized by those green giants. I have no idea what variety they were. They were just labeled “jumbo avocados” and the stickers indicated they were grown in California. I kid you not, they were the size of my palm. You know what they say….never go grocery shopping while you’re hungry. I was hungry…for some avocado. 

Oregon shrimp salad with cucumber goddess dressing.


Oregon Shrimp Salad-stuffed Avocado with Cucumber Goddess Dressing

Serves 4 

Dressing ingredients 

  1. 1 English cucumber ( I like them because they’re seedless). If you prefer, substitute 2 regular cucumbers. Wash, peel and chop them. The regular cucumbers will need to be de-seeded
  2. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.)  finely chopped fresh dill (or use 1 tablespoon, 15 ml., dried if dill is out of season)
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. ½ cup (120 ml.) buttermilk
  5. 16 ounces (0.5 l.) sour cream
  6. 2 cups (480 ml.) mayonnaise (add more if you like your dressing thicker)
  7. 2 teaspoons (10 ml.) garlic salt (more if you like your dressing saltier)

Salad ingredients 

  1. 1 lb. (455 g.) Oregon shrimp, or salad shrimp, cooked and peeled
  2. 2 large avocados, peeled, sliced in half and seed removed
  3. 2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped and rinsed and spun dry
  4. 2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  5. Sliced celery (optional)
  6. Sliced red onion (optional)


  • Make the dressing and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two before you assemble the salad.
  • In a food processor, add cucumber, dill, green onions and buttermilk and blend until the cucumber and onions are a pulp. You may need to scrape the sides down several times.
  • Empty the blended mixture into a large mixing bowl and add sour cream, mayonnaise and garlic salt.
  • Using a large balloon whisk, slowly and gently mix the ingredients until they’re thoroughly incorporated.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • When ready to assemble, arrange salad ingredients on serving plates and place an avocado half on each plate in the center of the salad.
  • Stuff the center of the avocado with the salad shrimp and serve the salad dressing on the side or drizzled over the salad.

Note: This recipe makes a big batch. I keep old wine bottles and other large bottles with caps around and clean them to keep salad dressing in the fridge. To keep the leftover dressing, I’ll pour it into a clear glass bottle using a funnel, cap the bottle and store it in the refrigerator door. This will keep nicely for about two weeks. 


— Vic

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Category: Salad, Seafood

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

Comments (2)

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  1. Mel Wagner says:

    This sounds and looks delicious!! I love avocado and shrimp. I’m going to have to try this recipe out. Thanks Victor!!

  2. Victor says:

    You’re welcome, Mel. P.S. the cucumber goddess dressing also makes a great chip and veggie dip!

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