Prawn cocktails

Photographer: Sara
Serves 4 as a starter

This time of year is all about eating with friends and eating outdoors. During these warmer months, I’m choosing recipes which allow me to relax and spend time with the people we have over, not trapped in the kitchen.  The success to this is finding the right balance between food which can be prepared in advance and fresh food that requires just a flash in the pan.

I’ve encountered a really busy time in both work and personal life, the later filled with birthday celebrations, weddings, family gatherings and holidays.  It’s been good to have a couple of super quick but undisputedly delicious recipes up my sleeve which I depended on when called upon to ‘bring a plate’.  This is one I’ve already used a couple of times this month.

In two days I’m off to the Marlborough Sounds, one of my new favourite places on earth. With an abundance of seafood in this neck of the woods I may just have to adapt this recipe to blue cod or scallop cocktail.


Green dressing
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely, sliced
1 avocado
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
1-2 lemons, juiced (I used 2 big, juicy lemons)
¾ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (or any sweetener you like)
Salt and pepper to taste

1 baby cos lettuce
1 mango

12 prawns
Oil for shallow frying


For the green dressing
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor (in the order they are listed in the ingredients) and process until smooth.

For the cocktails
1. Wash baby cos and place three leaves in each glass.
2. Cut the mango into cubes and divide between the three glasses.
3. Shallow fry the prawns for 2 minutes on each side.
4. Take the prawns out of the oil and drain on paper towels.
5. Place the prawns in the glasses.
6. Top each cocktail with a generous dollop or two of green dressing and serve immediately.

Store left over green dressing in a sealed container in your refrigerator and use within 5 days.

It can be eaten with green salads, pasta salads, potatoes, fish, chicken, beef, roasted or grilled vegetables etc.