Cookery School has turned hundreds of keen amateur cooks into proper chefs and its new ‘bible’ makes its full range of techniques and recipes available to the home kitchen. The authors gives Weekender a recipe...
ZA’ATAR CRUSTED PRAWNS WITH A BULGHAR WHEAT AND HERB SALAD
20 raw prawns
2-3tbsp olive oil
3-4tbsp za’atar (available in selected supermarkets, or see below for recipe to make your own)
½tbsp plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
n For the salad
100g bulghar wheat
1 red onion
1tbsp olive oil
½ bunch of dill
Bunch of flat-leaf parsley
¼ bunch of mint
n For the dressing
5 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of ground sumac
½-1tsp clear honey
Peel the prawns, leaving the tail tip intact, then clean, carefully removing the intestinal tract (the dark vein along the back). Set aside in the fridge.
For the salad, prepare the bulghar wheat by putting in a small saucepan and adding enough water to come 3cm above the level of the wheat. Simmer, uncovered, over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain well and scatter over a tray lined with kitchen paper, then cover with kitchen paper to absorb the moisture.
Halve, peel and finely slice the onion. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the onion. Cook gently until just starting to soften, then increase the heat and allow to brown a little. Remove from the heat, drain the onion of excess oil and transfer to a large bowl. Heat the oven to 120C.
Halve the pomegranate and extract the seeds by holding cut side down over a bowl and carefully hitting the skin side with a rolling pin or the back of a wooden spoon.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, deseed by scraping the length with a teaspoon, then finely dice. Pick the herbs into bite-sized sprigs or very coarsely chop. Add all these ingredients to the onion.
Once the bulghar wheat is dry, add it to the bowl. For the dressing, juice the lemon and orange. Mix one tablespoon of each with the olive oil, sumac, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Mix the za’atar and flour with some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Dry the prawns and add them to the bowl. Toss in the za’atar mix to coat. Fry the prawns in batches until pink and the tails have curled, around three to four minutes. Keep the cooked prawns warm in the low oven while you fry the rest, adding one tablespoon of oil to the pan for each batch. Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Divide the salad between four shallow bowls and arrange the prawns on top. Serve with the lemon wedges.