I am rabidly particular about salad and will bang on about the sorry state of salads in Irish restaurants and cafes to anyone who will listen. A few tablespoons of tuna in a huge blob of mayonnaise is not a salad! One leaf of lettuce with a sad little squirt of bottled dressing is not a salad!
I also think ‘chefs’ salads that are just about twenty different ingredients flung together in a bowl are rubbish: salads, like a main meal, should have three or four main ingredients that work well together.
And I strongly feel that eggs have no place in a salad, and neither do raw peppers, which are too sharp and indigestible. Roast peppers are approximately one million times nicer than raw peppers, and only take a tiny amount of effort to prepare. And iceberg lettuce is a bit crap. Sorry, I’ll shut up.
This recipe is for a delicious fresh, summery-tasting salad with some really interesting flavours and textures. Feel free to modify as much or as little as you like – I’ve often added chopped cucumber to this, and it would be delicious with toasted pine nuts scattered over it.
Prawn, Feta and Roast Pepper Salad
You do really need to use the good prawns for this; I would recommend the jumbo tiger prawns that you can buy frozen in most Asian shops.
- Handful of frozen prawns
- Salad leaves – use any combination you like. Rocket works particularly well.
- Feta cheese
- 1 red pepper
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salad dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, whole grain mustard, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon)
Deseed the peppers, quarter them and roast or grill them in olive oil till tender and a little blackened around the edges. They’ll take about 10 mins if grilled, 20 if roasted. Chop them into smaller pieces when they’re done.
Boil the prawns in some lightly salted water for about five minutes until they’re cooked through and no longer glassy in the centre.
If you’re making salad dressing from scratch, you can mix it up while the peppers are cooking. Put about two tablespoons of oil in a jar with a teaspoon each of the two vinegars, and add a teaspoon of mustard and a generous grating of black pepper. Shake the jar about to blend the ingredients, and add more of any particular ingredient to taste.
Add the leaves to a bowl, add in all the ingredients and pour over the dressing. Done!