My boyfriend and I recently returning from a stomach bulging trip to New York where we feasted on enormous pastrami and gherkin sandwiches, soft bagels crammed full of salt-cured smoked salmon and cream cheese and flavoursome burgers served in rich brioche buns with finger-licking fries.
New York surpassed all expectations and I loved its energy, dramatic architecture and exploring the contrasting different neighbourhoods. And the food! The standard and variety was just incredible: Italian, Korean, Mexican and American were just some of the cuisines that we dipped into and we were continually striving to work up an appetite for the next exciting meal. I’m still heartbroken I didn’t have any room for a hearty slice of classic New York cheesecake, which was on my must-eat agenda – I tried, really tried –but I just had no room despite walking till our feet throbbed and our muscles ached. Even though we ate like kings and food was fantastic, I have returned seeking some healthy, light food. It wasn’t all burgers and pastrami sandwiches, though, and this recipe is inspired by a melon and prawn salad I ate on a hot day in a café in pristine Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
This salad is perfect for a warm summer’s day as the abundance of fresh herbs, left whole in this recipe, with the watermelon and lemon is so refreshing and lively. Then add some juicy prawns, salty feta and crunchy tart pomegranate seeds and you’ve got a beautiful delicious, satisfying salad. It also is very quick to make and the only cooking, which is very brief, is to sauté the prawns. Next time I will use a griddle pan to give the prawns a lovely smokiness, which will work really well with the cooling watermelon.
Prep time 25 minutes, cook time 5 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
12 raw prawns, cleaned with tails intact (or removed if you prefer)
Large handful each of mint, corriander and parsley
Small handful of dill
¼ red onion, sliced thinly on a mandolin and soaked in iced water for 2 minutes
1½ tbsp lemon juice
40ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
300g watermelon, cut into thin triangles
80g feta (I recommend barrel aged)
¼ pomegranate, seeds extracted and pith removed
1.Heat olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, season the prawns with salt and pepper, add to pan in batches and fry, turning once, until golden and just cooked through (about 2-3 minutes). Set aside.
2.Combine herbs, drained onion, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, season to taste, toss to combine and set aside.
3.Arrange watermelon on a platter, top with the prawns, scatter with feta, pomegranate and herb salad, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season to taste and serve.