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Seasonal recipes

Recipe: Cocktail-size Swedish sandwiches on dense bread are topped with shrimp and egg

Open-face Swedish shrimp sandwichesSally Pasley Vargas for the Boston Globe

Makes 24

In Sweden, raksmorgas, toasted bread topped with mayonnaise and piled high with shrimp, is a popular snack. Here, it’s miniaturized into a cocktail-size bite with zippy horseradish butter as the base with shrimp, hard-cooked egg, cucumber, arugula, and dill. You can buy thinly sliced, dense rye or pumpernickel bread in a brick-shape loaf at many specialty markets; Mestemacher is one popular brand. Be sure the jar of horseradish is fresh; the flavor deteriorates within a few weeks after opening. Buy shrimp already cooked and this hors d’oeuvre comes together quickly.

½cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2tablespoons drained prepared white horseradish in brine, or more to taste
1teaspoon Dijon mustard
1teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
8slices dense rye or pumpernickel bread
½English cucumber, thinly sliced
1handful fresh arugula
24large cooked, peeled shrimp (about 1¼ pounds) sliced in half lengthwise
3sprigs fresh dill, snipped with scissors
¼cup capers, drained
Lemon wedges (for serving)

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook them for exactly 10 minutes. Transfer to cold water and crack the shells with the back of a spoon. Remove a strip of shell and let the cold water run until the eggs are cold. Peel them, dry on paper towels, and slice.


2. In a small bowl, mash together the butter, horseradish, mustard, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more horseradish, if you like.

3. Set the bread on a cutting board and spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of the butter. Top with cucumber and arugula. Place 3 egg slices in a line on top, and set 2 shrimp halves on each slice of egg. Cut each slice of bread into 3 pieces and garnish with capers and dill. Serve with lemon. Sally Pasley Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at