It takes forever to get to summer, but it’s always worth it. It’s time to breathe, take our watches off and just let it all soak in. Summer days stretch long into the night, warm and filled with old friends.
Easy summer dishes come hand in hand with the ingredients that are in season. Tomatoes are ripe, seafood is fresh and cool, crisp white wines pour freely. So here’s a recipe for a simple summer dinner to eat warm or pack up and picnic on the grass, in the sun that keeps our backs warm late into the night.
//A recipe for Marrakesh prawns with bulgur
For this recipe you’ll need bulgur, which is also labelled cracked wheat in some supermarkets. Woolies has Macro’s Cracked Wheat in most stores and if you’re anywhere near a Middle Eastern grocer or any good deli they’ll most definitely have a bag of the stuff. I’ve got a Turkish variety, care of my mum (thanks, Mum!). (Bulgur keeps perfectly in the freezer so don’t be afraid of the large quantities that it’s sold in.)
(to serve 2)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp store bought Moroccan spice mix
300g fresh prawns (try to get these from a local fishmonger to ensure they’re fresh and not thawed)
1 cup bulgur (washed under cool water so that it doesn’t become sticky)
1 punnet of ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 handful of rocket
Small grating of parmesan cheese (optional)
In a bowl combine the lemon zest, olive oil and Moroccan spice mix. Stir until the mixture is well combined. Add the prawns and toss to coat. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes while you get the bulgur going.
Bring a pot of three cups of salted water to boil. Add the bulgur and stir gently, bring the heat down to a gentle boil and let the bulgur cook for 10 minutes. You might need to stir the bulgur once or twice, but try to avoid agitating it too much as it can start to get mushy with too much movement. It’s cooked when it has the texture of cooked rice – soft but still with a bit of a bite in the centre.
Heat a pan on a medium-high heat. Since the marinade has oil in it, add the prawns with the marinade directly to the hot pan. Once the prawns have started changing colour, add the tomatoes and cook until the prawns have cooked right through. Turn the prawns until they are evenly cooked. This should take about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of your prawns.
To serve, spoon the prawns and tomatoes over a good helping of the bulgur and create a small side salad with the rocket, a drizzle of oil and a crack of salt. I’ve also grated a tiny bit of parmesan and a bit of the remaining zest from the lemon over my salad for a bit more of a kick.