This Swedish Shrimp Salad on an Avocado Boat makes an impressive appetizer or a fancy lunch!
For this month’s Recipe Redux challenge our theme was to create a dish inspired by a meal eaten while on vacation this summer.
So how did I get inspired to make this Swedish Shrimp Salad on an Avocado Boat? Well, we didn’t make it over to Sweden this summer. However, I did get lucky enough to take a boat ride with friends from Marblehead to Gloucester. While in Gloucester, I had an amazing lunch that reminded me of this shrimp and avocado appetizer that my mom used to make. Except, in this case, it was a lobster salad on an avocado boat (paired with a glass of cold wine, a beautiful day by the ocean, and good company!)
My first thought was to recreate the dish that I ate in Gloucester. But realizing that not everyone has access to fresh lobster like we do here, and then thinking about all the steps involved with cooking a whole lobster, not to mention the cost, I quickly scratched that idea and decided to recreate the dish using shrimp and in the classic Swedish way.
In Sweden, shrimp salads are called “Skagenröra.” Made with the small shrimp popular in Scandinavia, Skagenröra is a summertime favorite, often served on toast or a salad. Growing up, I remember my mom serving this shrimp salad on an avocado as an appetizer when we had guests. This was before avocado boats and toasts were popular, or even heard of, at least in New Hampshire, I guess she was ahead of her time!
Avocados are certainly having a moment, or rather, they have been for several years now. And this is not surprising given their healthy fat, incredible creamy taste, and versatility. Whether you add them to a salad, toast, salsa, or smoothie, they are delicious and so satisfying. And serving them as a “boat” is certainly fun (not too mention simple–no fancy slicing required)!
According to the California Avocado Commission, here are some health benefits of avocados:
- They contain almost 20 essential nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, and folic acid.
- They help boost absorption of nutrients from other foods eaten with this fruit (that’s right, avocados are technically a fruit!).
This recipe is so simple to make and you could even make the shrimp salad early in the day and then just slice and fill the avocados when it’s time to eat.
A couple of notes on this recipe:
- In Sweden, you would use small shrimp to make this recipe, but here in the US these are harder to find, so I look for medium ones and then cut them into smaller pieces.
- My mom and I both prefer this recipe with a light touch of the sour cream and mayonnaise, just enough to cover the surface of the shrimp.
- My mom also said we always added just a touch of sweet chili sauce to it; these days I think hot sauce is more in fashion–but either way works!
- Ideally, the dill would be chopped a little more than in my photos–but I thought it looked pretty that way!
Here are some tips on buying shrimp:
- In the US, Look for wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or sustainably farm raised shrimp.
- Buy frozen or fresh shrimp depending–look at freshness, price, country of origin to decide which is best for you.
- For this recipe, you could buy precooked shrimp to save some time, but it may not have that same salty taste as the ones cooked in salt water do.
Definitely save this recipe for your next dinner party or why not, make it as a festive lunch for yourself this week. Enjoy!
- ½ pound uncooked medium* shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1½ tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1½ tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- Dash of salt
- A few drops of chili sauce or hot sauce
- 2 ripe avocados, halved
- *In Sweden, small shrimp would be used, but these can be harder to find in the US. You could use small shrimp if you find them and just not chop them.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add shrimp and simmer for about 2-3 minutes until pink and just cooked through. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process.
- Once cooled, transfer shrimp to a cutting board and slice into smaller pieces to make the salad.
- In a prep bowl or ramekin, mix together the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add lemon juice, dill, salt, and chili sauce and mix. Add shrimp and toss .
- Portion shrimp salad onto avocado boats. Garnish with extra dill, lemon slivers, or pea shoots.