Ultimate Prawn Cocktail

In the seventies, the standard meal “out” was prawn cocktail, steak and chips, black forest gateau. The prawn cocktail was a simple affair – shredded iceberg lettuce, prawns and a yucky pink sauce.

Last night I decided this humble dish was inspiration for something far more exciting. I imagined multiple ingredients  tumbling decadently over and out of the martini glass like a Dutch Golden Age still-life.

retro prawn cocktail

Eschewing iceberg lettuce, (who eats that spineless stuff that lines all supermarket shelves in such abundance?), I generously layered purple lettuce and rocket with as many enormous prawns as would fit. There were taste surprises hidden amongst the green: cucumber, pineapple (my extra nod to retro), avocado. The whole was drizzled not so generously with a Greek yogurt and mayonnaise dressing that was barely pink, and topped with a dab of caviar. That old brown bread and butter that traditionally accompanies prawns was replaced with a delicous walnut bread.

It was outrageous! And funny! And extremely tasty.

Have you had a prawn cocktail in the last five years?

prawn cocktail Cartajima style