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    Prawn cocktail

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    Prawn cocktail

    If any dish deserves to be rescued from comedy status, it’s the prawn cocktail. Associated with the ‘dinner-party decade’ of the 1960s, this is the perfect early-summer starter. At heart, it’s a beautifully simple assembly of fresh seafood, rich mayonnaise and crisp lettuce, with just a touch of tomato and spice for pep. Garnish with spectacular Madagascan crevettes if you want to show off.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 0 minutes
    • Total time: 25 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a starter


    1-2 tbsp tomato ketchup
    few drops Tabasco
    1 tsp cognac, other brandy or sherry
    2 salad onions, finely sliced
    2 little gem lettuce hearts, finely shredded
    ½ cucumber, deseeded and diced
    1 avocado, diced
    1½ lemons, juice of ½, 1 in wedges
    175g North Atlantic prawns
    70g brown shrimps
    pinch cayenne pepper
    4 Waitrose 1 Madagascan crevettes * (optional)

    1 egg yolk
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    150ml sunflower oil
    ½ lemon, juice, plus extra to taste
    75ml extra virgin olive oil

    (*Available in selected stores)


    1. To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolk in a large bowl, beat in the mustard, season, then very slowly whisk in the sunflower oil. Once the mixture is thick, stir in the lemon juice. Keep whisking, while dripping in the olive oil. Check the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.

    2. Mix the ketchup, Tabasco, cognac (or other brandy or sherry) and most of the salad onions into the mayonnaise. Toss together the lettuce, cucumber and avocado with the lemon juice, then divide between 4 large glasses. Top each with the prawns and shrimps, then liberally drizzle over the sauce. Sprinkle over a little cayenne pepper and the reserved salad onions, then garnish with a lemon wedge and a crevette, if liked. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, June 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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