Panzanella with King Prawns

Featured in Country Style Christmas Issue 2017

Serves 4


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed
2 bay leaves
12 large green prawns, peeled leaving
tails intact, deveined
extra virgin olive oil, to serve

1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled
500g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
200g stale ciabatta bread, sliced
1 small red onion, peeled, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup fennel fronds

Combine oil, garlic and bay leaves in a large glass bowl.
Add prawns and stir until coated with marinade.
Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to marinate. (You can begin marinating the prawns up to 1 day ahead.)

To make panzanella, cut cucumber in half length ways, then use a teaspoon to remove seeds. Place cucumber seeds and tomatoes in a food processor and process until smooth. Finely dice cucumber and place in a bowl.
Tear ciabatta into small pieces and place in a baking dish. Pour tomato puree over ciabatta, and top with diced cucumber, onion and celery. Drizzle with vinegar and oil, and season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to develop flavours.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Season prawns with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Cook prawns for 2–3 minutes each side or until just cooked through.

Just before serving, finely chop half of fennel fronds and stir through panzanella. Place an 8cm ring mould on a serving plate and fill with one-quarter of panzanella, gently pressing down. Remove ring mould and repeat with remaining panzanella. Top panzanella with prawns and garnish with remaining fennel fronds. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil around plates to serve.