Samphire & prawns with butter & mace

Samphire & prawns with butter & mace

By
From
Gather
Serves
4
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

A popular wild sea green, samphire comes from the same family as sea beet. You can find it on tidal mud flats, inlets and estuaries, although always take care not to uproot the plant – or to become rooted in the mud yourself! And if time and tide aren’t on your side, this tiny twig of a sea vegetable is also readily available in supermarkets these days. Its fleshy, moist and brackish qualities make samphire a gift for fish; and its peculiar, gnarled form makes it a gift for chefs, too. It’s got class, longevity, and an elegance I really like. When I make this dish at home, I tend to use shrimps and I eat them whole, shell and all. I do this because I can, and because it’s interesting. But, if you use larger prawns you might find the ‘whole shell-on approach’ texturally challenging...

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g marsh samphire, coarser stems trimmed
1 knob butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 lemon, zested
1 whole lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
400g shell-on cooked prawns or shrimps or live prawns or shrimps
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Bring a medium pan of water to the boil. Drop in the samphire and cook for 3–4 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When bubbling, add the garlic, chilli flakes, lemon zest and mace. Cook, stirring regularly, for 1–2 minutes, until the garlic is just beginning to colour around the edges. Add the drained samphire to the pan and toss well.
  3. If you have live prawns or shrimps, blanch them in salted boiling water for a few minutes until they’ve lost their translucency and are cooked through.
  4. Scatter over the cooked shellfish, add the lemon juice, season well with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat as soon as the prawns or shrimps are warm. Divide the mixture equally onto four plates and serve straight away with good bread and butter.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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