Warm Salad of Artichokes and Grilled Prawns

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Prawns grilled in their shells pick up additional flavor from them and are juicier than if cooked without. I have not served a sauce to dip the prawns in, but a chervil, savory, rosemary, or rosemary-tomato mayonnaise or aioli would be a delicious accompaniment. I prefer olive oil to pour over the prawns once I have shelled them at table, especially if the oil has been soaking with little Niçoise olives and there is a bowl of coarse salt to dip the prawns in after they are dipped in the olive oil. Lobster, crab, or scallops would work as well.

Ingredients

  • 20 large fresh prawns
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 large artichokes
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup hazelnut or walnut oil
  • ¼ cup tomato concasse
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves

Method

Toss the prawns in a mixture of the garlic, thyme, and olive oil, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Trim the artichokes to just the bottoms. Put 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a pot of salted water, bring to a boil, and add the artichoke bottoms. Simmer until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.

While they are cooking, mix the remaining lemon juice with salt and pepper; whisk in the hazelnut oil.

When the artichokes are cooked, drain them and let cool just until they can be handled. Slice them ⅛ inch thick and toss gently with the dressing. Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler.

Wipe the garlic and thyme from the prawns and skewer them. Grill them over a medium-high fire or under the broiler for 3 minutes on each side. While the prawns are cooking, check the seasoning on the artichokes and arrange them on warm plates. Toss the tomato in the dressing remaining in the bowl and spot the tomato around the plate. Dress the cilantro leaves also with the remaining dressing and put them around the artichokes. Put the grilled prawn skewers on top of the artichokes and serve.

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