shrimp canapes a la suede

I don’t live the kind of lifestyle that includes a lot of canapés. Maybe that’s because canapés went out of style fifty years ago. Or maybe I need to start labeling any “toasts topped with stuff” as canapés, because I’ve eaten plenty of those. More precisely, canapés are “toasts fussily topped with stuff”. And since when do I not appreciate fussy?

These particular canapés include the unbeatable combination of bread, salted butter, shrimp, dill, mayonnaise and lemon. While there’s no cooking (assuming you buy pre-cooked shrimp), the assembly may take a while, because remember, fussiness is an essential aspect of making canapés.

Since I apparently don’t go to enough events where canapés are served, I will make them for a virtual event – a bridal shower for my fellow desert blogger (although her Sonoran desert trumps my Chihuahuan desert), Kelsey, who’s getting married next week. Kelsey is one of the most kind and beautiful women I know, and I wish every happiness upon her. I would love to shower her with well wishes in real life, but this virtual bridal shower will have to do.  The advantage of a virtual party, of course, is that I got to eat all the canapés myself. The disadvantage is that I didn’t get to eat everyone else’s contributions.

One year ago: Roll-out Sugar comparison
Two years ago: Roasted Kale
Three years ago: Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

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Shrimp Canapés à la Suede (tweaked from Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook)

The slivers of lemon tucked under each canapé are very cute, but not entirely practical. The brightness of lemon was important part of this flavor combination, however, so it might make more sense to forget the wedges and simply squeeze some lemon over the shrimp before adding the mayonnaise and dill.

Makes 12 appetizers

12 (2-inch) rounds of bread, sliced ¼-inch thick
Salted butter, softened
12 medium shrimp, cooked and sliced lengthwise (to make two symmetrical spirals)
12 small dill sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
12 small lemon wedges

Toast the bread until lightly browned; let cool. Butter the toast rounds and top each with two shrimp halves. Garnish the canapés with mayonnaise stars pressed from a pastry bag (or just dollop a scant ½ teaspoon on each). Top with the dill springs and season with pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.


  1. I love your writing, Bridget–and this recipe looks fab. Here in France people eat canapés and expect little snacks before dinner, so I need to stash this one away for my next dinner party. Thanks!

  2. These look like the perfect little bite – so cute!

  3. You made the *perfect* bridal shower food – pretty *and* fussy 🙂 Great job!

  4. What a great addition to the menu! Why did these have to go out of style? Glad you’re bringing them back. 🙂

  5. Really gorgeous photos, Bridget. I could go for some of these right now!

  6. Bridget, these are so beautiful. I love and very much appreciate the fussiness! Thank you so much for your kindness, both in sentiment and delicious foodiness. I feel so blessed and so spoiled to have such a fantastic event thrown in my honor. Thank you, thank you!

  7. Fussy or not, these look beautiful Bridget! Love the photos too.

  8. What’s a party without cocktail shrimp? So glad you’ve brought these!

  9. These look like tiny pieces of food art! So cute and they sound yummy!

  10. Great pictures, Bridget! These look SO yummy! Thanks again for participating- it was so much fun!

  11. Bridget, these are absolutely stunning! Also, I love your description of canapés. I just laughed out loud while reading it. 🙂

  12. treewhisperer says:

    Gruet!!!! 🙂

  13. I was totally distracted by the Gruet rose, but I think that’s a personal issue that has nothing to do with your adorable canapes.

    Virtual shower! What a fun idea.

  14. I don’t go to or have enough events where canapes are warranted but they sure are cute and I may have to start making up excuses to make these!

  15. These look beautiful as always. Love the flavor combo.