This elegant and easy Swedish appetizer is just the thing to have in your back pocket as the holidays approach and entertaining season begins to pick up steam. Pair these delectable little shrimp toasts with a bubbly cocktail and you’ve got the beginnings of a memorable evening.
What is Toast Skagen?
Toast Skagen is essentially griddled bread topped with a creamy shellfish salad known as Skagenröra and possibly a dollop of whitefish roe (caviar). The dish was originally created in the 1950s by Swedish chef Tore Wretman and is named for the fishing port of Skagen in northern Denmark. It remains a very popular appetizer in Sweden today.
Skagenröra can contain a variety of different shellfish but is usually made with small shrimp. Some recipes are entirely mayonnaise-based, and some contain a combination of mayonnaise and creme fraiche or sour cream. The former produces a much creamier salad, whereas the latter creates something a little lighter. Whichever route you choose is largely a matter of personal preference. Skagenröra usually contains dill and sometimes includes grated horseradish, Tobasco sauce or brandy for added flavor.
Toast Skagen is meant to be elegant and refined. While many of the open sandwiches in Scandinavian cuisine are served on dense rye bread, this one calls for a soft white bread, something that will create a thin, crisp crust and a soft interior when buttered and griddled in a hot pan.
How to Make Toast Skagen
While it looks and sounds impressive, Toast Skagen couldn’t be simpler to make. My recipe calls for frozen precooked small shrimp (I used the 91-100 count shrimp from Whole Foods) and a quick, creamy dressing that comes together in a snap. And supermarket white bread makes a very fine base for these easy toasts. I’ve added a briny caper relish for the top which cuts the richness of the salad and provides that salty flavor that might otherwise come from a dollop of fish roe. The combination is a truly memorable and impressive way to begin an evening.Print
Toast Skagen with Caper Relish
An elegant and easy Swedish appetizer with creamy shrimp salad and a bright and briny caper relish on top.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 small toasts 1x
- Category: appetizer
- Cuisine: Swedish, Scandinavian, Nordic
For the Toasts:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more dill sprigs for garnish
½ pound small frozen precooked shrimp, thawed and drained (I use the 91-100 count size)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed and each slice cut into 2 triangles
Butter for spreading
Caper relish, recipe follows
For Caper Relish:
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
- Make the Caper Relish: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the Toasts: Whisk mayonnaise, creme fraiche, lemon juice, shallot, dijon and dill together in a small bowl. Gently fold in shrimp. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Butter both sides of each triangle of bread. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add bread and fry on both sides until golden brown and crispy.
Transfer bread triangles to a clean work surface. Top each toast with shrimp mixture and a small dollop of caper relish. Garnish with dill sprigs. Serve.
If you can’t find small frozen shrimp, you can cut larger shrimp in to ½ inch size pieces.
Keywords: shrimp, toast, Toast Skagen, capers, seafood, salad, appetizer