Toast Skagen (Swedish Shrimp Toast)

Toast Skagen is one of the quintessential Swedish foods, a popular appetizer in both home and restaurant kitchens. Named after a fishing port town located at the northern part of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula, it was created by famed Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman in the years after World War II. You’ll find many renditions of this elegant and easy knife-and-fork, open-face toast—luckily, I’ve never met one I haven’t liked. In my version of Skagenröra, the shrimp are bound with mayonnaise and crème fraîche, then punctuated with fresh dill, lemon (both the zest and juice), and whitefish roe. Traditionally, the shrimp used in the creamy mixture (called Skagenröra) are small, sweet North Atlantic shrimp that are wild-caught and hand-shelled. You can occasionally find such shrimp Stateside in the frozen aisle, but any small shrimp (sometimes called salad shrimp) in the 91–110 count per pound will do. The Skagenröra is chilled in the refrigerator before being heaped upon slices of white bread that have been toasted in a bit of butter.—Hana Asbrink

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Ingredients

Makes 4

¼

small bunch dill

¼

medium red onion

1

12-oz. bag frozen cooked peeled, deveined, tail-off small shrimp (preferably North Atlantic), thawed

1

lemon

3

2

Tbsp. crème fraîche

¼

tsp. kosher salt, plus more

Freshly ground black pepper

2

Tbsp. unsalted butter

4

slices white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)

4

tsp. bleak fish or whitefish roe (optional)

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