It’s nearly summer! Well it’s definitely nearly spring, at least! We can start enjoying longer, brighter days and shed that winter coat which seems to have grown onto our skin (Just me? OK then…). The body naturally craves lighter meals in the summer (click here to read about why we should eat through the seasons) and salads provide the best of both worlds – vegetable-heavy but peppered with tasty meaty bits for sustenance.
Garlicky butter prawns and mushrooms accompany spicy chorizo, sweet beetroot, and peppery rocket leaves dressed in olive oil and lemon.
Embrace garlic. It really isn’t that offensive to eat it regularly. I don’t understand when people say ‘Oh no, I can’t eat garlic, I’m going out!’ I love garlic so much that if you smelt like garlic I’d be MORE interested in seeing you! You really can’t beat French-style garlic butter prawns…or anything garlic-buttered, actually. In this recipe, garlic mushrooms cook in the same pan as the garlic prawns to save on pots and washing up and results in more depth of flavour to transform what is otherwise a simple bowl of leaves. Salad still gets too much of a bad rap as not being filling but of course it won’t be if it’s just iceberg and a few anaemic-looking tomatoes and cucumber pieces! Add something with welly. Add two things with welly even!
Bang some spicy flash-fried chorizo on top for a salty kick, some sweet baby beetroots around the sides, and drizzle over some lemony olive oil to sink to the bottom and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded bowl with lip-smacking flavours around every corner.
I, for one, am guilty of shopping at the same shops where the same produce is always available. I need to branch out and go to more farmers markets and oriental supermarkets but life gets in the way and I can’t help but love my standard staples: avocado, rocket, watercress, spinach, peppers, prawns, chorizo, chicken, butter, salmon, mackerel, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, courgette, mushrooms, sweet potato, lemons, chilli, and garlic.
Therefore although my ingredients are often limited, experimentation is key. Good things love other good things but if you’re still finding your feet with flavour pairings, here are a few to note which resonate in this dish (as I’m writing this I’m envisioning them hugging each other, by the way!):
- Beetroot loves lemon, garlic, and olive oil
- Garlic loves chilli
- Butter loves garlic
- Lemon loves butter
- Prawns love butter
- Prawns love chorizo
- Rocket loves olive oil and lemon
- Mushrooms love garlic
- Mushrooms love butter
Need I go on? Let’s make it. And remember…
“Good cooking is an art, as well as a form of intense pleasure…A recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play on each time with a variation.” ~ Madame Jehane Benoit
- 30g spicy chorizo, cubed
- 10 king prawns
- 5–8 chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 6–8 cooked baby beetroots
- Bag of washed rocket leaves
- Juice of half a lemon
- 25ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 25g grass-fed butter
- Salt and pepper
- Divide your rocket into two bowls and arrange the beetroot on each.
- Mix the olive oil with the lemon juice and some salt and pepper and pour over the salad.
- Fry your chorizo in a little olive oil in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes on a high heat until slightly blackened on the outside. Take care not to overcook it, though, we don’t want it too tough.
- Heat your butter in a small sauce pan on a low heat and add the garlic and mushrooms. Fry for about 3 minutes before adding the prawns and fry for a further 4–5 minutes.
- Add the contents of the whole saucepanful of garlicky buttery prawns and mushrooms to the salad, top with the chorizo, and finish with a final grind of black pepper.