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Recipe: Honey & Co’s prawn and green pea tagine

Recipe: Honey & Co’s prawn and green pea tagine

Recipe: Honey & Co’s prawn and green pea tagine
May 03
08:27 2017

Glorious spring has arrived. There is a sense of optimism in the air — daffodils and magnolia trees are blooming and the first harvest of the growing season offers new onions and potatoes, gentle greens, brightly coloured shoots and all manner of podded things, full of the promise of lovely light meals and good times to come.

But springtime cooking is not without its complications. Here in the UK we are never really free from the clutches of winter: a few sunny days do not mean you can plan a garden party quite yet, and the next few weeks are just as likely to be chilly and wet. You may find yourself in need of a dish that reflects the mood and the weather: fresh and bright but also comforting and warm, something that will not only wean us from the hearty food of winter to the lighter summer fare, but will also be a true celebration of this time of year and its boons.

We love this tagine dish, in which the peas and the prawns bring out the sweetness in each other, the sauce with its spice and preserved lemon perfume counters that sweetness, and the creamy new potatoes bring some heft to the whole thing — and save you from making a side dish. Unlike most tagine dishes, this doesn’t need long on the stove and, other than shelling the peas, it doesn’t require much prep either: the prawns are best cooked in their shells, which will enrich the sauce and protect them from drying out.

© Patricia Niven

Prawn and green pea tagine

Dinner for two

2 tbs  olive oil
large spring onions
cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
200g  baby potatoes, peeled and halved (or cubes of large potatoes)
30g  preserved lemons, chopped
150g  shelled peas (if you can get them in the pods, buy 400g and retain the pods in a large bowl)
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of saffron
1 tsp  whole coriander seeds
Salt and pepper
large prawns with the shell and heads 
  1. Place the olive oil in a tagine or a heavy-bottomed pan with a fitted lid, and heat on a medium-low setting. Chop all the spring onions, retain the green parts for later and place the white part in the pan with the crushed garlic cloves. Sauté for one minute, add the potato halves (or cubes) and a sprinkling of salt, and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping the heat low. Add the preserved lemons and half the peas, stir around and add the turmeric, saffron and coriander seeds. Season with another pinch of salt and sauté for another minute. If you have used peas in their pods, boil some water and pour 250ml over the shells — they will infuse and give the water added flavour. If not, just use boiling water. Add 125ml of the water to the tagine, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for five minutes.
  2. Place the prawns in the liquid, pushing them in between the potatoes and peas, top with the remaining peas and green parts of the chopped spring onions and season well with salt and pepper. If there is not much liquid left, top it up a little with more boiling water (infused if you have it) to barely cover the prawns. Place the lid back on the tagine and cook for eight to 10 minutes, before uncovering and serving. The prawns should have turned a deep pink. If they are really large, it may take a couple more minutes, but don’t leave them to cook for too long as their texture will change. Serve immediately.
© Patricia Niven

Photographs: Patricia Niven

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