Lemon Garlic Shrimp over Cauliflower Mash

Lemon Garlic Shirmp over Cauliflower Mash, from She Cooks, He Cleans

This recipe is a low-carb adaptation of Shrimp and Grits, and I have to say it worked pretty well!  There are a lot of flavors here – first, in lieu of grits, a base of roasted cauliflower pureed with roasted garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Then we top it off with wild-caught shrimp in a spicy sauce bursting with garlic, lemon, and oregano, plus a little bacon for a touch of smokiness.  Yowsa!    This is a great, hearty meal!

When you select your shrimp, try to find domestic, wild-caught shrimp.  Farmed shrimp may contain growth hormones, antibiotics, or unhealthy chemicals.  [Speaking of chemicals, as much as I feel for the plight of the shrimpers in the Gulf, I am probably not going to have any more Gulf shrimp in this lifetime.  Thanks, BP, for poisoning our Gulf.]  These shrimp came from U.S. Wellness Meats – wild caught off the Pacific Coast and flash frozen soon after harvesting.  This is the second time I’ve added shrimp to my meat order from Wellness Meats and both times I’ve been impressed with their fresh taste.  These shrimp have also been cleaned and shelled (except for the tail), and are ready for cooking as soon as you thaw them.  When shopping locally, I look for wild Georgia shrimp!  If you’re near a coast, you probably have some great local shrimp too.

This recipe has a LOT of garlic in it.  Here’s a great tip, from Saveur.com, for quickly peeling a head of garlic that costs nothing and it really works!  I’ve tried it a few times now – it saves time, and it gives you the opportunity to shake the dickens out of something.

Ingredients for 2-3 servings:

Shrimp Marinade:

  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and de-veined

Cauliflower Mash:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into large-ish florets
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • butter (grass-fed)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • (optional) half and half or cream / or broth, if needed to correct consistency

Lemon Garlic Shrimp:

  • Marinated shrimp (from above)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter (grass-fed)
  • 1/2 cup white wine, or bottled clam juice
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • pinch or two of dried oregano
  • juice of one lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

First, mix up the marinade ingredients for the shrimp.  Put the shrimp and the marinade in a resealable bag, mix it up well so all the shrimp have some marinade on them, and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

Preheat an oven to 400F.  Place the cauliflower and garlic in a shallow roasting pan.  Toss with enough olive oil to coat the pan and the vegetables.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cover loosely with foil, and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove foil, and shake to mix up the vegetables for more even browning.  Roast uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until cauliflower and garlic are soft and lightly browned.  Remove from oven.

Using a food processor, puree the cauliflower with a couple tablespoons of butter (or more).  Add the Parmesan cheese and mix well.  You want to end up with the cauliflower having the consistency of mashed potatoes or grits (fairly thick, not runny).  If needed, add a drizzle of cream or broth if the cauliflower is too dense.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Place in a heat-proof bowl and keep warm.

In a large saute pan or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.  Set aside on paper towels until cool, then chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

Add two tablespoons of butter to the bacon drippings in the pan, and heat until melted over medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened.  Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano, and saute for about a minute, stirring frequently.  Stir in wine.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half (will only take a few minutes), then add the shrimp.  Cook, stirring frequently to turn the shrimp, until shrimp are pink and opaque on both sides.  This should only take 3 or 4 minutes; do not overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery!  Stir in the lemon juice and remove from heat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the shrimp and sauce over the mashed cauliflower.  Garnish with chopped bacon and fresh oregano.


Just because you can’t eat the seafood from the Gulf, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the music! First up, the latest release from one of the creme of New Orleans bands, the Rebirth Brass Band with Rebirth of New Orleans. Another stellar release from this long-standing group, guaranteed to put the pep in your step and fill a dance floor.

One of the many great things about HBO’s Treme is the music, gathered here on Treme: Music From the HBO Original Series, Season 1. With Dr. John, Rebirth, Trombone Shorty and more, this is a great collection of Louisiana music!

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70 thoughts on “Lemon Garlic Shrimp over Cauliflower Mash

  1. This one immediately got starred in my reader – recipes like these are my favorite kind of all-in-one meals. Looks fabulous, and I’m loving that lemon/bacon/Parmesan combo.

  2. This looks great! Seeing as I’m a northerner and really don’t get the whole shrimp and grits thing, this might be a nice way to get to like it.

  3. This looks wonderful. We’ll have to try it. If I miss one grain dish, this is it. I am not however worried about gulf shrimp if it is properly harvested, even now.

  4. this will definitely be on the dinner menu soon. I don’t worry about gulf caught seafood either. I see captain George at the farmer’s mkt every Saturday morning

  5. This was un-freekin-believably good. Many thanks! Keep em coming. For the record, this time, “he cooked, he cleaned” 😉

  6. Only an idiot would not eat Gulf Seafood. You are extremely misinformed but your ignorance still created a good recipe. thank you.

    1. If we are idiots, at least we’re not alone. Believing what the government/FDA says is safe and/or good for you, in my opinion, has not been a strategy that works out well for the public, especially when money is involved. (See pharmaceutical industry…) However, it is not my business where you get your shrimp! I know Gulf shrimp are delicious!

      My ignorance thanks you for the compliment on the recipe!

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=did-bp-oil-spill-ruin-gulf-seafood
      http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/10/fda-overhyping-safety-gulf-seafood
      http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2011/05/is-gulf-seafood-safe-to-eat-no.html

      1. Unfortunately, here we are in 2014 and I will NOT eat anything out of the Pacific thanks to Japan’s tsunami garbage infiltrating our west coast. However, there is still my favorite shrimp to be eaten – fresh, wild Key West pinks! I can’t wait to try them with your cauliflower.

      2. Gail, we are living in an unfortunate time where slack regulations and oversight of industry continues to destroy the planet. There are still Georgia wild shrimp too – but now they are incredibly expensive!

  7. Wow I just made this and it was to die for!! I didn’t use butter or Parmesan as i dont thibk there are paleo friendly options for these in perth and I’m ok with it because it was so nice.
    I was never a big prawns and bacon fan but am slowly coming around and more recipes like this will do it!
    Thanks so much. 🙂

  8. Foodies Like Us shared this on FB and I immediately got cravings! I love (wild) shrimp and have been craving cauliflower mash! Great recipe! (and the more garlic the better 😉 )

  9. Really Good! Thank you for the recipe. Not for the garlic wary. I would cut back on Cauliflower garlic some. But everything was really flavorful and good!

  10. I made this for dinner tonight and it is by far the best paleo meal I’ve made ever. honest, one of the best meals I’ve made, period. fabulous!

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  12. Oh my goodness, this was delicious! First time making cauliflower purée, but will double it next time for other meals! My fiancé loved it too and said, “add to the rotation!!” Thank you much for the recipe!

      1. Hi Sherry! You can try, but I think it’s going to be a little thick for a blender (at least in my blender experience). I can only make a blender work if I want a more soupy texture, and for this I was aiming more more of a mashed potato thickness. A hand-blender would probably work though, since you have more control over it. Hope that helps!

  13. this was absolutely delicious. we do not eat paleo normally, but loved this!!! My husband put this in his top 5 easily and wouldn’t stop raving in between bites. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  14. This recipe is what you call CRAZY GOOD! I just made this and all I could do was moan between bites. This is a keeper forever. Just amazing. I didn’t have fresh oregano so I used some cilantro…super delicious. I added some coconut milk to the cauliflower to make it creamy. I have been eating paleo for about 5 months, but I did use the parmesan and the butter. The recipe really works with all of these different tastes and a little cheese and butter for a special dish won’t kill me. Thanks for sharing…I will make this again and again.

  15. My boyfriend and I made this the other night for dinner…. and it was AMAZING 🙂 We both devoured every morsel of it! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂 Glad it found it’s way onto Pinterest!

  16. Recipe looks delicious! In regards to the shrimp, I’m less worried about the gulf waters and more concerned with with Pacific ocean…and radiation contamination from Fukushima.

    1. Me too, Elizabeth. After the Fukushima contamination, and the Gulf contamination, plus the shrimp that is farmed in unsanitary conditions (from several sources) – -I hardly eat shrimp any more! I try to look for wild-caught Atlantic…but mostly do without. 😦

  17. Going to try this tonight, sounds fabulous. And I have some nice frozen East Coast (Nova Scotia) shrimp to use. But we don’t eat meat; has anyone tried this without the bacon? I imagine it will still be fantastic but just wondered.

    1. Ursula, I’ve made it before without the bacon and it is still delicious. There’s plenty of other flavors there. I like the smokiness the bacon adds, but it is fine without it.

      Sometimes I added sliced red bell pepper to the saute (add at the same time as the onion), or add roasted pepper strips at the end. That will add another dimension of taste and color.

  18. Made this for dinner this evening, absolutely delicious and so easy! This recipe is definitely a keeper. Only made 2 changes, first I omitted the bacon. It doesn’t appeal to me other than with eggs :-). And instead of onions I used shallots. A wonderful recipe, thanks!

  19. This recipe was delicious! I did use less garlic but the taste was not compromised. Will definately make this again.

  20. I have made this several times now& it is a big hit, my whole family just loves it. Thanks for a wonderful recipe (:

  21. I made this tonight! So delicious! Thank you 🙂 And still so good even though I forgot to put the parmesan in! I was so focused on the consistency the parmesan stayed sitting in the measuring cup lol Just sprinkled on top for an easy fix! Just one quick question, how did you get the beautiful golden color? ( I didn’t add any chicken stock could that be it?) Thank you again!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’m not sure where the color came from, but it could be a combination of the stock and the Kerrygold Butter (which is really yellow). It might be enhanced some in the color balance of the photo as well.

  22. This is so delicious. The mashed cauliflower in particular is one of the best versions I’ve ever had. I will definitely put this in our regular rotation. Thank you!

  23. Just made this for dinner tonight – eliminated the cream, butter and part of olive oil to do a little lighter version – this was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!! My husband said we have definitely got to make this one again – thanks so much!!!

  24. Great recipe, one problem. My butter is not taking to grass, any suggestions?

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