Prawn Cocktail Canapes

Although prawn cocktail might seem a bit dated, it has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Made properly with fresh ingredients, it can make an elegant yet simple starter that no one will forget in a hurry.


  • For the Marinated Cherry Tomatoes:
  • 10 small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tblsp mayonnaise
  • For the Marie Rose Sauce:
  • 1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tblsp tomato ketchup
  • Dash of tabasco sauce
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp prepared English mustard
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • For the Guacamole:
  • 2 ripe Hass avocadoes
  • 2 tblsp mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • To Serve:
  • 20 small Little Gem lettuce leaves, trimmed
  • 20 large cooked peeled dublin bay prawns
  • Small handful fresh chives, cut into 1cm (½in) pieces
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Good pinch paprika (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the marinated tomatoes, place the cherry tomatoes in a bowl and season generously. Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Cover with clingfilm, set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour is fine to allow the flavours to mingle.
  2. To make the Marie Rose sauce, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, ketchup, Tabasco, Worcestershire and mustard in a bowl. Season to taste and add the lemon. Cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
  3. To make the guacamole, cut the avocadoes in half and remove the stones. Put the flesh in a bowl and mash to a purée. Stir in the mayonnaise and lime juice and season to taste. Cover with clingfilm and chill for up to 2 hours.
  4. To serve, arrange the Little Gem lettuce leaves on a large platter and garnish with the lemon wedges. Add small spoonfuls of the guacamole, the cooked prawns, marinated cherry tomatoes and teaspoons of the Marie Rose sauce. Scatter over the chives and sprinkle with a dusting of paprika, if liked.


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