When I shared the teaser for this Shrimp Toast with Green Cocktail Sauce, there were many comments about the uniqueness of my food. I am and was flattered but I don’t think the praise is entirely deserved. This toast, while pretty, is a visual inventory of what was in my fridge at the time of its conception. The green cocktail sauce a desperate attempt to justify buying my weight in tomatillos. The white bean hummus merely an expression of my undying love for, well, hummus. Basically, my brain darts around in a million directions, and I let it. And then I attempt to make it look intentional in the aftermath. It’s all culinary smoke and mirrors.
But just because these Shrimp Toasts weren’t intended as an innovated leap forward for toast as a medium. That doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. They are, by the way, next-level good, in fact. And yes, I say that about a lot of dishes on this blog. And yes, I really do mean it every time I say it. But this concoction is particularly memorable to me. Perhaps it was the drama of not knowing if this combo would be a yuck or a yum. There is something to be said for tension, even recipe-related tension. It definitely heightens the senses.
Toast is such a unique format. We call many food items blank canvases but I think toast is one of the few that actually is. It provides a flat, generally neutral space on which to build your culinary fever dreams. But unlike a canvas, you can eat it in the end. Ask any food stylist and they will tell you toast is very fun to style. Sandwiches and wraps on the other hand…
Long before I was a food stylist, before I even had aspirations of being one, I made The Art of Toast. Now, this toast was your basic buttered toast but I, an overly enthusiastic 6-8-year-old would “artfully” arrange the slices on a platter. This was my “job” when my family made weekend brunch, mostly because I was too small to fry bacon and hated to be left out. So I dutifully transferred the bread from bag to toaster to cutting board, slathered the pieces with butter, and arranged them on a platter. These are such a funny set of memories to me now given where I wound up.
Fast forward to today and I’m still mucking around with toast. But gone are butter-drenched slices of my youth. Instead, my toasts are piled high with fresh veggies, homemade spreads, and yes, sometimes even shrimp. I do believe Instagram gave rise to the “pimp-my-toast” culture and it’s one of the few true gifts the app has given us. That and the plethora of cat videos I’ve saved throughout the years.
But enough about my history of toast. Let’s talk about today’s Shrimp Toast with Green Cocktail Sauce and White Bean Hummus. And to do that, we’re first going to tackle the green cocktail sauce. Traditional cocktail sauce is a mixture of ketchup, horseradish, worchestshire sauce, hot sauce, and lemon. My green cocktail sauce features a puree of blistered tomatillos and hot green peppers. The puree is cooked down with honey and vinegar to make a sort of tomatillo version of ketchup, to which I added the horseradish and worchestshire sauce. I didn’t add the hot sauce and I opted for lime instead of lemon.
Moving on to the white bean hummus, which is exactly what it sounds like. Hummus made with white beans instead of chickpeas. I wish I could dazzle you with something more complicated than that but I can’t. This dip comes together very quickly in a food processor and tastes good with just about everything. The recipe below makes enough hummus for several pieces of toast and can mostly likely accomodate a bag of chips as well.
And finally, let’s talk shrimp. These guys couldn’t be simpler. Olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pep. The end. And the best part about this marinade is it’s in your best interest not to let the shrimp sit. Just give them 15-30 minutes then introduce them to a hot cast-iron skillet. Shrimp toughens up terribly if it’s left to languish in citrus for too long.
From there, I can safely assume you require no further guidance. It’s as simple as piling everything onto a toasted slice of your favorite bread. So that’s everything you need to know about this Shrimp Toast with Green Cocktail Sauce and White Bean Hummus. It may seem like a strange combo because it is. But it turns out it’s just strange enough to work.
Shrimp Toast with Green Cocktail Sauce and White Bean Hummus
- Food Processor
- Cast iron skillet
- Large baking sheet
Green Cocktail Sauce
- 454g (1lb) fresh tomatillos
- 5-6 serrano peppers
- ½ red onion coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 tbsp prepared horseradish heaping
- 1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 lime juiced
- ¼ cup fresh mint finely chopped
White Bean Hummus
- 1 (340ml, 19 fl oz.) can white kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ¼ cup tahini
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Garlic Lime Shrimp
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 454g (1 lb) raw shell-on shrimp ** thawed, peeled
- ½ red onion sliced
- 8 slices good-quality bread toasted
- ¼ cucumber sliced thin on a mandolin
- 2-4 radishes sliced thin on a mandolin
- fresh ground pepper
For the Green Cocktail Sauce
- Place the tomatillos in a large bowl of warm water. Let soak for 10 minutes.
- Remove the husks and cut a small X on the bottom of each tomatillo. Arrange the tomatillos on a large baking sheet with the Xs facing up. Place the peppers on the sheet as well. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until the veg has blistered. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Remove the stems from the hot peppers and place them in a large food processor. Using the Xs as a starting point, peel the skin off of the tomatillos and place them in the food processor as well. Add the onion and the garlic and blizt until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and stir in the honey, vinegar, horseradish, Worchestershire sauce, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook until reduced by half. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Take the sauce off of the heat and stir in the lime juice. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let cool. When the sauce reaches room temperature, stir in the mint. Transfer the sauce to the fridge and chill until ready to serve. The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
For the Hummus
- Place the beans, garlic, tahini, and salt in a large food processor. Turn the food processor on and stream in the lemon juice. Continue to blitz until a smooth, spreadable dip forms. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and drizzle with sesame oil. Refridgerate until ready to serve. The hummus will keep for a week in the fridge.
For the Shrimp
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine a 1/4 cup of the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and salt. Add the shrimp and red onion and toss to coat. Cover and let marinade for 20 minutes.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp turns pink and the onions are just translucent. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.***
- Slather the pieces of toast generously with hummus. Top with the shrimp and onions, cucumber slices, and radish slices. Finish with dollops of green cocktail sauce and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.