Shrimp and Herb Canapés

  • Serves

    serves 14-16


Time-Life's Good Cook series of cookbooks from the 1970s and 80s is filled with timeless classics. Among our favorite recipes is this one for canapes made with herb and shrimp butters. This recipe first appeared in the 2012 SAVEUR 100, with the article The Good Cook Series Cookbooks.


  • 2 cups packed watercress leaves
  • 1 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1 cup packed tarragon leaves
  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz. unpeeled medium shrimp
  • 1 loaf Pullman bread, cut lengthwise into six ¼″-thick slices, crusts removed
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed, for garnish
  • 4 cooked, peeled medium shrimp, thinly sliced lengthwise, for garnish
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 3 chives, cut into 2″ lengths, for garnish


Step 1

Make the herb butter: Combine watercress, parsley, tarragon, and ½ cup water in a food processor and purée into a smooth paste; transfer to a 2-qt. saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until mixture barely begins to simmer; remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the herb solids from the liquid and transfer to paper towels to drain. Squeeze paper towels around herbs to remove any excess liquid, and then transfer herb solids to a food processor along with 2 sticks butter and 2 tbsp. lemon juice; process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set herb butter aside.

Step 2

Make the shrimp butter: Bring a 2-qt. saucepan of water to a boil, and add unpeeled shrimp; cook until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Drain, peel, devein, and finely chop; transfer to a food processor along with remaining butter and lemon juice, and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Step 3

Thinly spread some of the herb butter over half the bread slices; thinly spread some of the shrimp butter over the remaining bread slices. Transfer each butter to a separate piping bag fitted with a ⅜″ star tip, and pipe rows of butter along the long edges of the corresponding herb and shrimp buttered bread slices; chill to firm butters. Cut each bread slice crosswise into 5 rectangles. Garnish rectangles with capers, cooked shrimp slices, radishes, and chives.

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