Pick Your Parking: Pickled Shrimp Toasts

Pickled Shrimp Toasts

I’m going to say “Pickled Shrimp Toasts” out of one side of my mouth and say “Hollywood Bowl” out of the other side. Of course, I’d rather be putting Pickled Shrimp Toasts into both sides of my mouth. But before I do that I think I need to explain why I would attempt such a ridiculous feat of Pickled Shrimp/Hollywood Bowl verbal dexterity.

Let’s start with the Hollywood Bowl. You see, I live quite close to the Hollywood Bowl, which is lovingly known as “The Bowl” where I live. 

In case you don’t know, The Bowl is one of the leading outdoor music venues of the world. It has a long, glamorous history. It’s a mecca for summer concerts in Southern California. Making it one of the top 10 reasons to live in Los Angeles. Which means pretty much every Angeleno who’s able goes to The Bowl at least once a summer. 

As wonderful as the Hollywood Bowl is, there’s only one problem. It’s a problem a lot of places in Los Angles share, but it’s a particularly large problem at The Bowl. 

Of course I’m talking about parking. It’s stacked, it’s horrendous, it’s hard to avoid. It can destroy a perfectly wonderful night of music under the stars.

Fortunately for me, I live close to The Bowl. So close I can walk. 

Problem solved, at least for me. Unfortunately for my friends – many of them do not live close. So my driveway has become a much-coveted parking spot. Some of my neighbors actually charge to let folks park in their driveway. It’s true.

But I’m not one of those people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. My driveway is open to a first-come-first-served basis. It also comes with an unspoken open door policy.

Which means any night of the week a grateful friend might show up (sometimes with a bottle of wine in hand) to (ostensibly) say thank you for that once-in-a-summer opportunity to skip the parking hell at The Bowl and actually enjoy the experience.

What I’m trying to say is not only do I not charge, I provide appetizers!

Pickled Shrimp Toasts

Sweet and briny, faintly spicy pickled shrimp are one of those surprising taste treats that has everyone rushing into the kitchen to see how you made them. In fact, you didn’t do very much at all, which is what makes pickled shrimp such a great choice for those first-come-first-served parking friends.

They’re a great make-ahead because the shrimp can remain covered with the pickling liquid and will last for a couple of days in the fridge. Keep in mind that the longer they sit in their pickle liquid, the picklier they get.

But no one seems to mind how pickley they get because they know they’ve avoided a “pickle” of a parking situation. GREG

Pickled Shrimp Toasts

Pickled Shrimp Toasts with Tomatoes and Whipped Ricotta 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 18Published
Pickled Shrimp Toasts with Tomatoes and Whipped Ricotta


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil (plus more for bread slices)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds (lightly crushed)
  • 18 medium raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed)
  • 1 jalapeño (thinly sliced)
  • 2 pound small to medium heirloom tomatoes (various colors would be nice)
  • freshly cracked black pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 18 slice rustic bread (cut into about 3x 3‑inch pieces, 3/4‑inch thick)
  • chopped chives (as garnish)
  • lemon wedges (for spritzing)
  • hot sauce (optional, as garnish)


Pickle the shrimp: Stir together vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt, and coriander seeds in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high. Remove the pan from the heat and add shrimp, and jalapeño slices. Cover pan and let stand about 10 minutes before uncovering the pan and stirring. Re-cover the pan and allow the shrimp and jalapeño to come to room temperature before using. Alternatively, the room temperature shrimp and jalapeño may be left in their liquid, covered and refrigerated up to 48 hours before using.

Prepare the tomatoes: Halve the tomatoes and then slice halves into ½‑inch-thick pieces; place on a plate, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Make the ricotta: Place ricotta in the bowl of a mini food-processor fitted with the metal blade. Season generously with salt and pepper. Process until smooth and light, about 30 seconds. Set aside. You may alternatively whip by hand.

Make the toasts: Brush both sides of bread slices with olive oil.

Preheat grill or grill pan to high. Place bread on grill, and grill, uncovered, until toasted, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side.

Assemble toasts: Spread about 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture on each toasted bread slice. Choose the nicest tomato slices to top toasts from edge to edge. You might not use them all. Nestle in a drained pickled shrimp and a couple of slices of jalapeños on top of each toast. Garnish with chives, a squeeze of lemon, and, if desired, a dash of hot sauce. Serve immediately.