I’ve never been to Sicily, but all I’ve heard and tasted are great things. I have, however been all over the Mediterranean and come to terms with the fact that there is probably no better cuisine in the world. Freshness, respect for the ingredients, natural flavors and pure tastiness are just some of the common traits one can find in dishes whether dining in Beirut, Alexandria, Barcelona or Amalfi. This dish here is an embodiment of these qualities. The sweetness of the prawns, tomatoes and toasted almonds offset the saltiness of the olives and capers, while the acidity and freshness of the tomatoes and lemon zest make the whole plate sing. This dish can be easily enjoyed alone, but will make a perfect accompaniment to some crusty bread as well. Best thing about it, takes no more than 10min to cook.
About 12 nice fat prawns
1 medium aubergine cubed
1 large shallot peeled and sliced into rings
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with a knife
1 handful of peeled and toasted almonds
About 20 large black olives, deseeded and sliced into threes
About 20 cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
1 handful of fresh basil leaves
1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves
1 tbsp of capers
1/4 cup of passata
zest of one lemon
A pinch of dried chili flakes
Simply heat up some olive oil on a medium high heat in a large pan, then add the chili, garlic and the shallots. Fry up for a couple of minutes and then add the aubergines. The aubergines will suck up all the oil in the pan, don’t worry, just still constantly to make sure nothing burns. After about 5mins, the aubergines will start to cook and release their liquid, immediately add the tomatoes, olives, capers, passata and basil and cook for a couple of minutes, once the tomatoes start to break down add the prawns. Make sure not to overcook the prawns, so once they start to turn opaque on one side, flip them over, and once the other side is opaque as well, they won’t need more than 1-1 1/2 minutes on the heat. After ensuring that the prawns are cooked, remove the pan off the heat, drizzle with some more olive oil, and toss in the almonds, lemon zest and the parsley. It probably won’t need salt, but feel free to adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Hope you enjoy.