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Avocado Shrimp Salad

Serves 4 - 8 people

In England years ago, a favorite restaurant hors d'oeuvre (appetizer) was half an avocado filled with shrimp and cocktail sauce. Now, we do everything else with avocados but that. This was based on a recipe from one of my favorite British cookbook authors, Delia Smith. Without the shrimp I like to serve it as a salsa or a side salad to accompany grilled meats. I find it quite addictive, it makes avocado go a long way and is therefore inexpensive until you add in the shrimp.


  • 2 large, firm ripe tomatoes halved and cut into small dice or approx. 12 grape tomatoes quartered. Grape tomatoes are new, tiny tomatoes that are very sweet and succulent and cost about $2 for a 12 oz basket.
  • 2 ripe but firm avocados
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about the juice of ½ a lime)
  • Grated rind of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp. pepper jelly - I used a tomato/hot pepper jelly that I had. (Brand: Vermont Epicurean tomato jelly with jalapeños and horseradish. Slightly sweet with a bit of a bite but not deadly). There are a variety of pepper jellies available in both the preserves and pickles section of the store.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ lb. cooked shrimp, preferably small for appearances. Do ask the person at the fish counter to let you taste the shrimp before you buy since some are so cardboardy.
  • Keep back enough whole shrimp for a garnish (one for each plate).
  • Shredded lettuce to serve.
  • Sliced lemon or lime to garnish


1. Halve the avocados and remove the stones. Hold each half in your hand and cut down through the flesh to the skin in slices without cutting through to your hand. Then cut crosswise to make 'tic tac toe' i.e. small dice. Insert a small spoon between skin and flesh and ease out the cubes of avocado. Put avocado dice in a bowl.

2. Melt the pepper jelly in the microwave for about 20 seconds and add lime juice and lime zest. Mix with the avocado and tomatoes. The lime will stop the avocado discoloring for a while.

3. Add chopped green onion, cilantro and small pinch of salt. Mix all ingredients (except shrimp) together with the avocado. Cover and set aside for about one hour to allow flavors to blend. If you try the salad when it is first made, then it will have a 'raw' taste to it. The one hour standing gives it time to mellow and the flavors to blend together.

4. Add the shrimp about 1/2 hour before serving. If you add the shrimp too early then it will almost cook in the lime juice.

5. To serve. Choose individual plates, either a martini glass or perhaps small, scallop shell shaped plates. Sprinkle (lightly or heavily) with finely shredded lettuce or a salad mix and top with avocado shrimp salad. Finish with whole shrimp and slice of lime or lemon.

Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers a Personal Chef service, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, and makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.

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Last modified: April 21, 2000
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