AppetizerDavid Scott AllenProvencal RecipesTaste

Easy Shrimp Appetizer for Cocktail Hour

As always, David’s take on tradition and nostalgia is deliciously engaging and humorous. Follow his revival of l’apero with this fabulous and easy shrimp cocktail that is bound to delight everyone.

Shrimp Appetizer zucchini fritters @CocoaandLavender

Zucchini and Shrimp Fritters, Saffron Mayonnaise

Crispy fried zucchini and shrimp fritters topped with a fresh and creamy saffron mayonnaise.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Starter Course
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


Zucchini and Shrimp Fritters

  • 8 oz small zucchini
  • Salt
  • 8 oz raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3-4 tbsp saffron mayonnaise for garnish
  • 3-4 chopped fresh chives for garnish

Saffron Mayonnaise

  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp compacted saffron threads
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly ground pepper preferably white pepper
  • 1 cup Canola Oil


Zucchini and Shrimp Fritters

  • Grate the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater into a colander lined with a linen towel.
  • Sprinkle with a little salt, toss, sprinkle with more salt, and toss again.
  • Set aside for 10 minutes to sweat.
  • Dice the shrimp, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, blend together the egg, flour, and milk.
  • Using the linen towel, squeeze the zucchini to release the accumulated water.
  • Add the zucchini to the egg batter along with the diced shrimp and the chopped tarragon.
  • Using a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.
  • Use a tablespoon to make the fritters, dolloping them directly into the heated oil as you go.
  • Flatten them with the back of the spoon. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  • Cook for 2 minutes per side, or until deep golden brown.
  • Remove fritters to paper towels to remove any excess oil, then serve on a decorative platter.
  • Top each with a small dab of saffron mayonnaise, and sprinkle with a few chopped chives.
  • Wipe the skillet clean and repeat the process with new oil and any remaining batter.

Saffron Mayonnaise

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the egg, lemon juice, mustard and saffron.
  • Pulse to combine and let sit a minute.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and pulse again to mix.
  • Then, with the machine running, slowly and in a very steady stream no wider than 1/8-inch, pour in the canola oil.
  • By the time the oil is used up, you should have a perfect mayonnaise.
    saffron mayonaise @cocoaandlavender
  • You will need a couple of tablespoons for this recipe.


The saffron mayo can be used right away, but if refrigerated for a few hours or overnight, the flavors will meld and seem richer.
Refrigerate the remainder for another use (it makes a great egg, potato, shrimp, or chicken salad).
Makes 1 1/2 cups.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!


  1. blank
    September 4, 2016 at 8:12 am — Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Caroline! The best part is that there will be leftover saffron mayonnaise which can be used in so many ways, including with a bouillabaisse.

  2. blank
    January 8, 2018 at 9:52 am — Reply

    great fritters but I didn’t have time to make the mayonnaise so used rouille instead – it was fabulous.

    • blank
      January 8, 2018 at 1:15 pm — Reply

      HI Jan: I am sure those shrimp appetizers are delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  3. blank
    January 8, 2018 at 3:47 pm — Reply

    I agree – using the Rouille was a perfect way to do this, Jan!

    • blank
      January 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm — Reply

      It sounds like a perfect variation.

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