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Seafood Starters for Summer Celebrations

Our favorite get-the-party-started trio of seafood appetizers.

Three of our go-to's to celebrate summer seafood, but guess what? These ingredients are available year-round, so don't hold back- they'll brighten up your winter months as well.

We're always looking for food that's delicious, that delivers something a bit unexpected with just a bit of extra attention. 

Salmon Tartare with pureed chipotle peppers in adobe sauce fits the bill. The richness of the salmon is offset by the spice of the peppers and the brine of capers and lemon juice, the smokiness takes it over the top. This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay's classic "Bold American Food" cookbook from 1994, which is packed with great recipes to discover.

The shrimp and avocado salad serves up a delightful medley of textures and mouthfeel, with the unexpected flavor combination of curry and dill. 

Last, but definitely not least, the smoked trout spread with horseradish and tangy sour cream is sublime, whether served on thinly sliced apples or crisp crackers.

We're gathering our pals around the table (hopefully outside) this long weekend, and we'll be sharing these. If you do too, we'd love to know what you think!

Salmon Tartare with Chipotle

For the Tartare & Cilantro Oil:

    • 1 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 t. salt
    • 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
    • 1 lb. skinless sushi grade salmon
    • 2 T. olive oil
    • 1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
    • 2 T. capers, drained
    • 2 scallions
    • 1 c. olive oil (lighter is better for this)
    • 1 bunch cilantro leaves 
    • 1 garlic clove
    1. Place the chipotle peppers and sauce in a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until smooth. You'll only need a tablespoon or so, so reserve the rest in an airtight container in the fridge and try adding a bit into any marinade, or mix a bit with mayo for an extra dollop of flavor. 
    2. Rinse out the bowl of the food processor and with it running, drop the cloves of garlic into the bowl to mince them fine, then stop and add the cilantro leaves, pulsing them finely. Add the olive oil, and salt and continue to pulse, scraping the sides, until smooth. Drain the oil through a fine mesh strainer... or enjoy it a bit chunkier.
    3. Keep the fish in the fridge while you chop the other ingredients. Mince the capers, thinly slice the white parts of the scallions, and mince those. Toss it all in a medium sized mixing bowl.
    4. Pull the fish from the fridge and mince it as finely as possible without turning it to mush, add it to the mixing bowl.
    5. Squeeze the lemon juice, drizzle the olive oil, add the mustard, then add the pureed chipotle (use more or less to taste- this stuff is HOT!). Lastly, add some freshly ground black pepper and some salt.
    6. Stir gently but thoroughly with a fork, until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings and spice level.
    7. Serve with tortilla chips, and with cilantro oil for drizzling.

      Curried Shrimp and Avocado with Dill

      For the Salad:

        • 1 lb. large cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
        • 2 large ripe avocados
        • 1 1/2 T. curry spice blend
        • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
        • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
        • 1 T. kosher salt 
        • 1 T. fresh cracked black pepper
        • 1 large bunch fresh dill
        • 1 English cucumber
          1. Chop the shrimp into bite sized pieces, toss them into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the lemon or lime juice.
          2. In a smaller bowl combine the salt, pepper, mayonnaise and curry powder, stirring well to combine.
          3. Finely chop the dill leaves and add them to the mixing bowl.
          4. Cut the avocados into 1/2" pieces and add them to the mixing bowl.
          5. Add the mayonnaise mixture and stir gently with a fork until well combined.
          6. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds and top with the shrimp and avocado salad, or serve with crackers- makes a great sandwich or topping for lettuce or tomatoes too.


          Smoked Trout Spread with Horseradish

          For the Spread:

            • 1 8 oz packaged of smoked trout
            • 1/2 c. sour cream 
            • Juice of 1/2 lemon
            • 1 1/2 T. horseradish (creamed horseradish makes the smoothest dip)
            • 1/2 t. kosher salt (the fish is salty, so use caution!)
            • 1 T. freshly ground pepper
            • 1 bunch of fresh dill
            • 1 slice of finely minced onion
            1. Pull the skin from the trout pieces, then cut it into small pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
            2. Add the sour cream, horseradish, dill and onion, salt and pepper.
            3. Finely chop the dill leaves, using about 1/2 c. and reserving the rest for another use.
            4. Add the lemon juice, and stir it all well with a fork, breaking up the fish into a smooth mixture with only a few chunks.
            5. Slice the apple across the width, removing the seeds, into thin rounds. Top with the trout spread, or if your prefer, serve it with crackers. Delicious!

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