There’s something daunting about cooking a whole anything. But there’s also something deeply satisfying about it. So when K saw these wild-caught, local Virginia prawns at the market (on sale, no less), she couldn’t resist.
The greatest thing about this recipe is that it’s hardly a recipe at all. It is so simple. The lack of steps + minimal ingredient list let the few key elements work their magic.
Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main
1 lb (about 15) prawns, unpeeled and heads on
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 c + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*
4 limes + 1 lemon, juiced (try and get some of the pulp with the juice)
1 Tbsp soy sauce (optional)
Handful of basil, roughly chopped
Handful of scallions, roughly chopped (optional)
Sea salt & fresh black pepper
*A secret: we always keep a bottle of olive oil for everyday cooking and a special bottle of the really good stuff for recipes like this, where you want the richest, cleanest flavors possible
The How To:
1. Clean your prawns. Rinse them under cold water and then, using sharp kitchen shears, gently cut down the middle of the prawn tail shells to remove the vein. Sounds worse than it is
2. Heat about a Tbsp of olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat (if you’re so lucky as to have an actual grill, skip this step)
3. Add garlic to the pan and cook until golden (if you’re using a grill, just rub a bit of garlic over the prawns themselves)
4. Season prawns with salt & pepper and grill about 2-3 minutes each side
5. Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and basil in a bowl and drizzle over cooked prawns. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Our favorite ways to get down with this recipe: solo (with loads of napkins), in tacos with some chopped avocado and some fennel slaw; atop grilled bread with a generous dollop of pesto; or tossed with fresh pasta, hot chili oil + shaved parmesan.