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For a party where the food is going to be tapas — lots of little plates that let people dabble in multiple flavors — you have an endless palette of dishes to select from. You’ll want a mix, of course, with perhaps some seafood, some other proteins, veggies, cheeses, dips, … If you assemble a half dozen dishes, or more, you’re sure to please your guests.

Now, the thought of doing six or more things may at first seem intimidating: there’s the shopping, the preparation, timing it all just before the party begins, … The wonder of tapas is that you can truly mix and match. Some of your tapas dishes may require some serious effort. But others, and this is one of them, can be breathtaking to devour and very fast to prepare. You can make this one hours ahead, cover, put in the fridge, and bring out just in time.

In a nutshell, you dice up some ripe avocado, mix in some mayonnaise and capers, and top with cooked shrimp. This dish takes minutes to assemble, but it is quite luxurious.

This recipe comes from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Ines Ortega. They suggest a homemade mayonnaise using a blender recipe. Suzen and I found that a traditional homemade mayonnaise using a whisk is actually easier to make and lets you better control the texture [and not by coincidence there’s a mayonnaise post just 4 days back:  https://cookingbythebook.com/blog/recipes/homemade-mayonnaise/

You can, of course, improvise by adding in some herbs or finely diced onions. Heat from, say, diced jalapenos is surely an option. The important value of this recipe is that, as presented here, this dish is delicious, very eye appealing, and yet so quick to prepare.

In the days to come, I’ll post some other tapas ideas that do require a little more effort. All of the recipes together will make for a smashing party menu.

Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Yield: Serves Four


  • 4 avocados
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 4 tablespoons bottled salmon roe drained to garnish
  • 5 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled
  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise


Peel and halve the avocados, remove the pits, then cut the flesh into cubes. Put them into a bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice over them. Stir in 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and the capers. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the cooked shrimp and salmon roe.

Tasting Notes:

You can certainly add more lemon juice or even lime juice to avocados. The 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise added to the avocados can be increased for a creamer base. And the remainder of the one cup of mayonnaise should be available on the side for dipping the shrimp.

Source: Adapted from The Book of Tapas by Simone and Ines Ortega