We’re always on the search for more Paleo shrimp recipes. They’re delicious, notoriously easy to prepare and look fancy. This is a really great recipe to make if you’re expecting company during the week. When plated up, it looks super impressive, but it’s so simple to make and healthy to boot!
One of the best things about this recipe is that the cauliflower purée is even better reheated, so you can prepare that and skewer the shrimp the night before. If you have an outdoor grill, you can even grill the shrimp while you zap the purée in the microwave, and dinner will be on the table in less time than it takes to set it!
Ingredients (for two servings)
- 1/2 head cauliflower
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 Tbsp. butter, separated
- 1/2 pound shrimp
- several branches of fresh rosemary
Start with the cauliflower purée, as it will take the longest to make.
Remove as many of the external leaves of the cauliflower as you can. Insert the point of your chef’s knife into the place where the leaves meet the core, and cut all around to remove the leaves from the core.
When you have removed as many of the leaves as you can, discard them. Place the cauliflower on its base and cut it in half.
You will only need one half for this recipe, so save the other half in the fridge for another dish. Because the cauliflower will be cooked and then puréed, you can keep some of the core. But do remove the harder, exterior core and any remaining leaves. To do this, cut a wedge of the core out of the bottom of the cauliflower.
This wedge can either be discarded or saved with other veggie scraps to make a delicious homemade stock. I throw scraps like this into my freezer until I have enough, then I cook them with any leftover chicken bones, and homemade stock is ready!
Break the cauliflower into manageable pieces, and then break it into florets.
Ideally, all the florets should be about the same size so that they cook evenly, but no need to make yourself crazy! Just break them where they break naturally.
Get all of the kids into the pool, uhhh… I mean a small pot or saucepan that has a lid. And the milk and the water.
Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to add slightly more or slightly less liquid. What you want is to cover the cauliflower as best you can with liquid. Next, add the nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.
Grab your garlic cloves and peel them. For this recipe, you’ll be leaving them whole.
Toss them in the pool!
Add them to the pot with the cauliflower and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Cover the pot with a lid. Heat over medium heat until the liquid reaches a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender.
In the meantime, you can move on to the shrimp.
It’s very important to have fresh rosemary for this recipe. The rosemary branches will serve as the skewers for the shrimp, and they’ll impart a nice, mild flavor. If you use dried rosemary stalks, the flavor may be too pronounced and overpower the shrimp, and you also run the risk of the branches burning, particularly if you’re cooking the skewers over an open flame.
Use scissors or your hands to break the rosemary into manageable skewers. If you’re going to be cooking these inside, make sure the skewers are no longer than the diameter of your pan. Also, pick the narrowest stalks you have, otherwise you’ll risk tearing the shrimp when you skewer them.
Press the skewer into the back of the shrimp. This is easiest with deveined shrimp, which you can purchase at most fishmongers, because you’ll just be pressing the skewer into the break that already exists in the shrimp from the deveining process.
Press the skewer all the way through the shrimp, and carefully slide the shrimp up to the top of the skewer, leaving about an inch of rosemary branch at the top.
Continue skewering shrimp onto the branches.
Depending on the size of your shrimp and your skewers, you’ll likely get between 4 and 7 shrimp on each skewer. Leave a bit of space between each one so that they’ll cook evenly. When you have finished your skewers, place them on a plate and cover with cling film. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
Now, back to the cauliflower. When the cauliflower is tender, use a large spoon to remove it from the liquid. This will allow you to control the thickness of your purée.
Place the cauliflower and whole garlic cloves in a large, heat-safe bowl, keeping the liquid nearby in case you need to add some to loosen your purée. Add half of the butter to the warm cauliflower.
Use an immersion blender to blend your purée.
This can also be done with a blender, but bear in mind that hot liquids tend to rise in a blender, so be very careful! Blend until you have a very smooth purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
You can decide how smooth and thick you would like the finished purée to be. Note that the purée can now be refrigerated or even frozen and reheated to enjoy at a later date.
Time to cook the shrimp! Melt the butter in a skillet set over high heat.
Add the shrimp skewers.
Cook on one side until the shrimp just start to become pink. This will take about a minute or two.
When the shrimp are pink, pick up the skewer and flip it over so the shrimp can cook on the other side. This is where that extra inch or so of rosemary comes in handy!
Cook until the shrimp are just cooked through and slightly brown on the outside. Nothing worse than a rubbery shrimp!
Serve a mount of hot purée in the center of each plate. Top with the shrimp skewers and a garnish of rosemary.
This dish can just as easily be served as an appetizer or as a main. Also, if you’re avoiding dairy, you can easily cook your shrimp in a bit of coconut oil and use soy milk or a neutrally flavored almond or oat milk to make the purée. You can even make it just with water if you prefer, but in that case, you may want to roast the garlic beforehand to add a bit more flavor to the finished dish.