Recipe: Shrimp with avocado salsa

Shrimp with avocado salsa.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 55 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings: 12 canapes

Note: Adapted from “The French Laundry Cookbook” by Thomas Keller

Avocado salsa

3 tablespoons very finely diced red onion

3 tablespoons peeled, seeded and very finely diced cucumber

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons very finely diced avocado

1 teaspoon olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice


Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, mix together the red onion and cucumber. Carefully fold in the avocado, taking care not to crush it.

2. Add the oil. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Shrimp and assembly


1 quart water

1 carrot, cut in 1/2 -inch rounds

3/4 cup coarsely chopped onions

1 leek, split lengthwise, washed and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (about 1/2 cup), outer leaves reserved

1/2 medium fennel bulb, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 green outer leek leaves

3 sprigs Italian parsley

2 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

3 black peppercorns

1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 lemon

6 large shrimp, in their shells

Avocado salsa

1. In a large pot, add the water, carrots, onions, leek and fennel. Make a bouquet garni by tying together the leek leaves, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and add to the pot. Add the peppercorns and bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Reduce to a simmer and add the white wine and vinegar. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the rind to the pot too. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp to the simmering pot and cook 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Place the shrimp in a large glass bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled or for up to a day.

4. Peel the shrimp, removing the shells but keeping the tail tips intact. Dry the shrimp on paper towels. Cut each shrimp lengthwise in half down the back, and use a paring knife to remove the vein that runs the length of the shrimp.

5. Spear each shrimp half on the tip of a fork. Arrange the forks on a platter and place a spoonful of salsa on the fork behind each shrimp.

Each serving: 15 calories; 1 gram protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 7 mg. sodium.