As a kid, I remember the Ladies Who Lunch coming over to the house regularly to play canasta or mah-jongg. On these occasions, my mom showed me how you could use a fruit as a bowl for salad: she’d serve the pearled grand dames tomatoes stuffed with chicken salad, and that was the inspiration for this dish. I’ve gone for a different mode of transport—an avocado boat—and jazzed up the salad as well. No mayo here, but lime juice, cumin, coriander, jalapeño (za-zing!), olive oil, and avocado provide the diving pond for the shrimp. I think the Ladies Who Lunch would’ve approved.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 4 minutes
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 large ripe avocados
Freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 pound cooked shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into bite-size pieces
2 scallions, sliced
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, toasted (optional)
To make the dressing, combine the cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, jalapeño, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Spritz the cut flesh with lemon or lime juice and sprinkle with salt. Make a well in the avocado halves by scooping out some, of the flesh, leaving a ½-inch border. Place the flesh in a bowl and mash it lightly with a fork. Add the shrimp, apple, and scallion and 4 tablespoons of the dressing; stir until evenly coated. (Reserve the rest of the dressing for another use; it will keep for 5 days in the fridge.)
Spoon the shrimp mixture into the well of the avocado halves, making a nice mounded scoop in each. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.