Take a quick look at this picture.
See anything that doesn’t belong? Old Bay and Cocktail sauce don’t sound like they’d mix with a head of cauliflower, but you’ll be surprised with the results!
Bon Appetit shared a recipe by chef Kevin Roberts on how to turn cauliflower into imitation shrimp cocktail. It sounded too interesting to pass up.
I deviated from the original recipe only a little bit. First I cut it in half (one head of caulflower was enough for 4 people). It also called for a tremendous amount of crab boil and salt, so I toned it back about 1/4 cup. My deviation:
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 lemon
- 2 yellow onions
- 1/3 cup Old Bay
- 4 tbs. celery salt
- 3qt. water
- 1tbs. minced garlic
I quartered the onions and halved the lemons. Bigger pieces are better, since you’ll be removing them from the liquid later. Combine everything but that cauliflower and bring to a boil.
After about 10 minutes of boiling, the onions will be clear, and you can remove everything from the liquid with a slotted spoon.
Add your cauliflower cut into florets, cover, and return to a boil for 5 to 10 minutes. I tried my first batch for 5, and my second for 10 minutes. The texture changes slightly, so I suggest you try it both ways and see which you like best. I enjoyed both equally.
Pull them out, and allow to chill. Then serve with cocktail sauce.
The Verdict? Pretty good! The taste is unique, and when you pair it with cocktail sauce the texture tells the brain it’s shrimp. Even with my reduced recipe, the crab seasoning is a bit strong, and the main giveaway that you aren’t eating shrimp.
A fun appetizer, and a great way to include those with shellfish allergies.