The sun is shining, the sea breeze is wafting up from the shore, I’m seated at my favourite table on the terrace, chilled glass of rose in hand, warm rye bread on the table, and an Ivy Grilled Vegetable Salad with Shrimp is on its way. I’m in LA.
And cut to…
… my kitchen in London on a grey drizzly day. One bite of this, and I’m back there again…
500g raw tiger prawns, peeled and cleaned
2 avocados, peeled, de-stoned and diced
2–3 courgettes, quartered lengthways
6 spring onions, trimmed
2 ears of sweetcorn
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
a bunch of asparagus, trimmed
2 heads of Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Cajun Spice seasoning
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (OR fresh lemon juice mixed with a little fresh orange juice)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Cajun Spice seasoning — to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper
an extra lemon, quartered, for serving
You will also need some bamboo skewers soaked in a bowl of water, and a barbecue or a cast-iron griddle pan.
Fire up the barbecue or a griddle pan to a medium heat.
Drain and dry the skewers.
Mix one tablespoon of the oil with the Cajun spice mix. Then thread the prawns onto the skewers, ready for grilling, and brush with the seasoned oil.
Toss the courgettes, asparagus, spring onions and corn in the remaining oil.
Now for the grilling. The corn will take about 15 minutes, the courgettes, and prawns about 7, and the spring onions and asparagus about 5, depending on their size. So put them onto the heat accordingly. Keep an eye on everything, turning them so that the corn ends up with slightly blackened bits all over, the other vegetables have nice char-lines, and the prawns are pink, flecked with spices, and cooked through.
Meanwhile, place the chopped lettuce, avocados and tomatoes in a bowl.
Mix together the dressing.
When the prawns and long vegetables are done, remove them from the heat and take the prawns off their skewers. Chop the long vegetables into 1½ cm chunks, and cut the corn off the cob with a sharp knife. If you like, and depending on their size, you can chop the prawns to the same size too, but they’re fine left whole.
Add the prawns and vegetables to the salad. Toss all the ingredients together, then dress. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve at once.