Chef Dean Neff mixes up a summer salad


Chef Dean Neff visited WWAY’s Good Evening Wilmington to mix up a summer salad sure to impress at your next backyard get together, made with local shrimp.

If you’re not quite up to making the salad yourself, you can enjoy something similar at one of Chef Dean Neff’s Pop-up Dinners held at Love, Lydia Bakery in Wilmington.

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The next Pop-up Dinner’s are August 2 and 3. Tickets go on sale on Monday.

Check out Chef Dean Neff on Instagram to get ticket details.

Below are the recipes for the dish Chef Neff made on Good Evening Wilmington.


Shrimp Louie

A summer salad that is substantial and easy for serving friends and family. Use local brown shrimp for this recipe and feel free to substitute other great seasonal ingredients you may find at the farmer’s market. Some ideas are…crab, oysters, grilled yellowfin tuna, sweet peppers, summer squash, etc. Get creative!

For the Shrimp…

Pickled Shrimp  

2 pounds brown NC shrimp, peeled and deveined

¼ teaspoon celery seeds

½ teaspoon Chile Flake or 1/2  teaspoon shaved jalapeno

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

½  teaspoon lemon zest

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and shaved

8 bay leaves

1 Tablespoon minced thyme

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 stalk celery thinly shaved

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the 2 pounds of shrimp. Boil until the shrimp all turn pink (about 1-2 minutes). Quickly remove from the boiling water and fully submerge into the ice water. Remove and gently pat dry.

In a glass bowl, mix all of the ingredients except for the shrimp. 12-48 hours before serving the shrimp toss the shrimp with the pickling mixture. Store cold in glass jars or a glass bowl.

Note*Storing shrimp in the pickling mixture much over 48 hours can change the texture of your shrimp. The acid in the lemon juice can cause shrimp to become rubbery if stored too long. By keeping your pickling mixture separate, you can mix in the cooked shrimp as you need them to create the best result.


For the Dressing…

Spicy Shrimp Louie Dressing

1 cup Duke’s mayo
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon creole mustard

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 tablespoons Siracha Pepper sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Mix well and store cool.


To Assemble…

Other ingredients

4 cups of arugula or any good lettuce of your choice

1 ripe avocado cut into slices

3 soft-boiled eggs cut into quarters

3-4 heirloom tomatoes cut

1 bunch of red easter egg radishes cleaned and quartered

2 small pickling cucumbers washed cut into 1 inch cubes

Handful of torn basil

Fresh parsley (whole leaves)

1 cup croutons


Toss all ingredients lightly with olive oil and lemon. Put a substantial amount of the dressing on the surface plate. Build all of the ingredients on the plate, and finish with the shrimp and croutons. Serves 6.