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Potted Shrimp on Toast with Celery-Radish Salad


Serves 8-10

If you’ve never tried potted shrimp, a classic British hors d’oeuvre, think of it as a chunky, buttery shrimp spread seasoned with freshly grated nutmeg and a touch of cayenne. Here, it’s paired with a bright, crunchy salad for an elegant appetizer.

For the shrimp
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery (about 1 medium stalk) 
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or rice vinegar 
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 to 6 allspice berries  
  • 3 1/2-inch-wide strips of lemon zest 
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • Kosher salt  
  • 10 oz. large (31 to 40 per lb.) shell-on shrimp (about 18) 
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) best-quality salted butter, such as Kerrygold 
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne 
Wild-caught domestic shrimp have a sweeter flavor and more delicate texture than farm-raised imports.
For the salad
  • 3 cups thinly sliced celery (about 3 medium stalks)
  • 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced radishes (about 5)  
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 12 to 15 cocktail-size (2-1/2-inch-square) slices pumpernickel, rye, or black bread, or 6 to 8 sandwich-size slices 
Make the shrimp

In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, combine 2 cups of water with the wine, carrot, celery, vinegar, peppercorns, allspice, lemon zest, 2 of the bay leaves, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 15minutes. Add the shrimp, return to a simmer, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool.

Peel and devein the shrimp (discard the other solids). In a food processor, pulse the shrimp until coarsely chopped—the pieces should be pea-size. Set aside. 

Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, nutmeg, and cayenne and stir to combine. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the shrimp, and stir to coat. Scrape into a 10-oz. ramekin, terrine, or bowl, and smooth the surface with a spatula. Garnish with the remaining bay leaf. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate. 

Make the salad

Toss the celery and radishes in a large serving bowl.

Put the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a small jar. Cover and shake to combine. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 


Remove the potted shrimp from the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving. Toss the salad with the dressing and parsley, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Lightly toast the bread. If using cocktail-size bread, halve each on the diagonal; if using sandwich-size bread, quarter on the diagonal. Mound a heaping tablespoon of the potted shrimp on each piece of toast. Serve with the salad.

Make Ahead Tips

The potted shrimp may be made up to 2 days ahead; keep it refrigerated until 2 hours before serving. The salad may be dressed up to 30 minutes before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220, Fat (kcal): 19, Fat Calories (g): 160, Saturated Fat (g): 9, Protein (g): 6, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 8, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 310, Cholesterol (g): 70, Fiber (g): 2,

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is SO good! Full of flavor, buttery and delicious, so easy to make, and able to do it ahead of time. I've brought this to parties to great fanfare and it's now one of my "go to" party apps. Haven't done the salad, just toast, and it's a hit!

This was not good at all. The taste was heavy and fat laden. wasted $ on shrimp for this dish.

I made only the potted shrimp and served it with little toasts and my guests raved! I'll be making it again and again, as it is SO simple and fast.

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