This is a kind of Mexican-style shrimp Louie. A chopped salad, heavy on the bay shrimp, is tossed with chipotle mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon and then served in halved avocados and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch. Part of what makes this so good is the study in textural contrasts: the creamy avocado beneath the crisp chopped salad and the meaty bay shrimp contrasted with the raw vegetables.
It’s a super-simple recipe that will nonetheless steal the stage at a luncheon or make a lovely starter at an elegant dinner. The chipotle mayonnaise — one of my favourite tricks — whips together in a snap in a blender but lends the dish an illusion of complexity. For the most elegant presentation, do your best to dice your fennel, radishes, onion, and tomato into cubes of the same small size and shape; that uniformity elevates the look of this dish.
This recipe is extracted from My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions by Gabriela Cámara and Malena Watrous (published by Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House). Photography © Marcus Nilsson
Ingredients for avocado stuffed with shrimp Serves: 4
- 2 or 3 avocados, cut in half and pitted
- 1⁄4 head napa cabbage or 2 heads Little Gem lettuce (you want something crunchy), finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1⁄4-inch / 6mm dice
- 2 radishes, cut into 1⁄4-inch / 6mm dice
- 1⁄4 white onion, cut into 1⁄4-inch / 6mm dice
- 5 oz / 140g cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 lb 6 oz / 630g cooked bay shrimp, well drained
- 3 Tbsp / 45g Mayonesa con Limón
- Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more as needed
- Leaves of 2 or 3 sprigs cilantro, minced
Method for avocado stuffed with shrimp
- Use a large spoon to carefully scoop the flesh of each halved avocado out of its shell, setting the intact avocado halves on a serving platter or, if you intend to serve them individually, on salad plates.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage or lettuce with the fennel, radishes, onion, and tomato. Add the shrimp, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and salt and toss. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.
- Serve a generous scoop of shrimp salad in each avocado half. It’s fine if it spills over — no one will complain! Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and fresh oregano or thyme leaves. Eat within 30 minutes, before the avocado begins to turn brown.