Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Ottolenghi love: Buttered Prawns with Tomatoes and Olives

The infatuation with Ottolenghi continues, with this gorgeously easy dish.

This is a perfect after-work dish because it is so quick to whip up.  I am fortunate to be able to buy peeled green prawns from the supermarket, and the way the prawns are cooked in butter is the key to the tastiness of the dish.  That and the chilli flakes and garlic and olives, too.

The arak in the recipe is a Middle Eastern liquor with an aniseed flavour.  They say that Pernod could also be used, but I had neither and used white wine instead. 
Summary:  I've made these buttered prawns 3 times in as many weeks and it is always fabulous!

Buttered Prawns with Tomatoes and Olives
serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

4 plum tomatoes, peeled and deseeded, cut into 4-6 wedges
16 medium-large green (raw) prawns, peeled and deveined
50g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
50g Kalamata olives, pips removed, sliced
20ml arak, Pernod or white wine
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tblsp parsley, finely chopped

1.  Place a large frying pan over high heat.  When hot, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the prawns, and saute for 2 minutes, shaking the pan, until the prawns become opaque but are not yet cooked.
2.  Add the tomatoes, chilli and olives to the pan.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  The prawns should be just cooked.
3.  Add the arak or white wine, and simmer for 1 minute.  Add the remaining butter, garlic and parsley.  Stir until the butter is incorporated.  The sauce will still be a bit runny.
4.  Serve immediately with bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

Ingredients; the tomatoes are soaked in boiling water for 30 seconds to help remove the skins; whack a pat of butter into the pan - makes the sauce smoother, richer, better...

This is a great tapas-style dish that tastes incredible and is so easy to make.
I've also served it with sweet potato fries (or something crunchy) to give some 'texture' to the meal.


  1. Nice prawns Bel! I would have gone with the white wine as well, not a huge fan of arak especially after it made me a bit ill when I had it at Efendy!

  2. I need more of these quick and easy after-work recipes! This sounds delicious :D

  3. I didn't need more convincing to get that cookbook, but this looks just too good!

  4. I said I was going to get this cookbook but another great recipe has made me click the "BUY" button 5 minutes ago. Great job, Belle :)

  5. That looks so good! I love prawn anything so will try this recipe

  6. Ottolenghi just keeps turning out some amazing recipes! I love after work meals that are easy, healthy, and delicious. This looks perfect.

  7. Oh Bel, this does look so simple and delicious. In fact, I just got that 'crave' feeling for shrimp. Oh, and I love anise, but I think white wine actually sounds better, no? I think so...

  8. I'm SO making this dish Bel! I mean butter and prawns together? :D

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  10. lol. this recipe is very similar to one that u make with linguini. I just throw in some capers and some lemon juice. butter, prawns and garlic are always a winning combination! nice one bel!

  11. This sounds so fast and delicious. Love combining Pernod with prawns, and butter is the clincher!

  12. Mmmm this looks delicious. I love prawns. If this were served to me after a hard days work I would be a very happy guy.

  13. I'm always keen for a great after work recipe - something so easy to whip up - I will try this one for this week for sure! Hey, did you see the new fish monger on Darling St??

  14. Prawns + butter? All the other stuff is just a bonus. Delicious! But really, I am trying not to buy this book, so stop it with the deliciousness.

  15. Hey Bel, i made something very similar about a week ago. It is a prawn recipe with Ouzo, the greek version of Arak, and made a pasta with it. I was inspired as i was on my honeymoon in Greece to make it and it was DELICIOUS! You should get some arak... or ouzo... EXcellent dish you have here and the photos are great. Im loving your blog!