A shrimp tree is a stunning centerpiece that’s fun to make, a delight to look at and delicious to demolish too! You can make it with just shrimp or add extra vegetable ornaments as you please. For a healthy bonus, you can whip up a kale salad, kale chips or a smoothie with the leftover tree "leaves."
1. Carve the red radishes to make them look like ornaments. I did a simple design and carved all the radishes the same way, but feel free to let your imagination run as wild as your carving skills allow.
2. Cut your daikon radish into 1/4-inch slices, then cut them into perfect rounds with a round cookie cutter, and then cut out center shapes with a canapé cutter or a knife. You can also use jicama.
3. Prepare your star by cutting off the flat side of the yellow pepper and then cutting it out with the star-shaped cookie cutter. If you are putting your tree on a round table, you may want to cut out 2 stars and place them back-to-back.
4. Poke 4 toothpicks into the bottom of the Styrofoam cone so they stick out just enough to secure the cone to the Styrofoam base, and place the cone on the base.
5. Starting with the largest leaves first and working from the bottom up, attach the kale leaves to the cone — be sure to cover the base — using the wooden toothpicks in a circular pattern until you get to the top of the tree.
6. Wrap the ramekin in a strip of holiday wrapping paper secured with a piece of tape. Fill it carefully with cocktail sauce.
7. Drape the bottom of the tree with a cloth napkin or fabric to make a tree skirt.
8. Place the vegetable “ornaments” all around the tree with toothpicks. Add the shrimp last so you can keep them in the fridge as long as possible before serving. I like the toothpicks to be hidden. You can also use red and green frilly toothpicks to add some sparkle to your shrimp tree. Finish it off by placing the star on top of the tree.
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