Note: This recipe is featured in our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook.

These hors d’oeuvres are simple to make, but offer a lovely presentation for your entertaining. Seafood and avocado complement each other perfectly, and here they are accented with a touch of dill.

Makes 1 dozen canapés


12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 avocado
1 lemon
4 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Splash of red wine vinegar
Salt, pepper and cayenne, to taste
Dark pumpernickel or seeded rye bread


Cut bread into rounds with a 1½-inch cookie cutter and set aside.

Devein and shell shrimp, removing the tails (or you can just buy them that way from your supermarket or fishmonger). Blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two, just until cooked through; they should curl up nicely. [Chef’s Note: Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, or it will become rubbery.] Remove the shrimp from the water and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool. When cooled, blot them dry with paper towels.

Make a purée of avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Chop a bit of the fresh dill and toss it with the shrimp along with a small splash of red wine vinegar and tiny dash of salt to season.


Assemble your canapés by spreading a little of the avocado purée over each round of bread. Top with a dilled shrimp. Thinly slice the cherry tomatoes and top the shrimp with a tomato slice and a small sprig of dill.

Recipe by Mark Tafoya
Photo by Deborah Mele

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