Flipping through the pages of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's book, Jerusalem, I came across a dish that sounded most unusual and is said to be unexpectedly delicious. Indeed, the combination of garlic and tomatoes with feta and shellfish had me salivating.
I have been cooking my way through a three-kilogram box of frozen wild-caught Tiger prawns and a couple of kilos of frozen Tasmanian scallops from Austral Fisheries, and there's always some Persian feta in the refrigerator, so this recipe was the perfect fit for my "shake the fridge" philosophy.
The verdict from the cook and her fussy sous chef? Absolutely superb! Here is my adaptation of the recipe, minus clams, because I didn't have any at hand.
PRAWNS & SCALLOPS WITH TOMATO & FETA
250ml white wine (see my note below)
1kg clams, cleaned (optional)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
600g peeled and chopped tomatoes (tinned)
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
sea salt and black pepper
1 fresh lemon
200g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
200g raw scallops, cleaned
2-3 spring onions, sliced thinly
Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C (fan forced). Using a potato peeler, shave off three or four strips of lemon zest (without the pith) and set them aside.
If you are using clams, make sure you have cleaned them. Now, pour the wine into a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to the boil. Simmer until it has reduced to around 50mls in quantity. Toss in the clams, turn up the heat and pop a lid onto the saucepan. Cook the clams for a couple of minutes, shaking the pot occasionally, until the shells have opened. Strain the juices through a fine sieve and set aside with the clams. Take care to throw out any shells that haven't opened.
Noting that I didn't have clams at hand, I added some of the sweet and flavoursome pink scallop roe to the wine and cooked it very briefly in the reduced liquid, as above.
Heat the olive oil in a frypan and cook the sliced garlic over a low-medium heat, making sure you don't allow it to brown or burn (it will be bitter). Note, please step back while you carefully pour in the tinned tomatoes (the mixture will splatter), then stir in the reduced wine liquid, sugar, oregano and strips of lemon zest. Simmer the sauce for 25 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Season to taste with the sea salt and pepper, then remove and discard the lemon peel.
Add the prawns, scallops and clams (if using), and pour the sauce into an ovenproof dish, such as a clay pot. Crumble chunks of feta evenly across the top, pressing it down into the sauce gently. Sprinkle with the sliced spring onion. Pop the dish into the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the top has coloured nicely and the seafood is cooked through. Remove from the oven and finish with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 2 as a main meal, or 4 as an entree
Your turn now, dear readers. Is this the kind of dish you might enjoy? Perhaps you have a copy of Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and have already made this?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.