Buttered prawns with tomato, olives and Arak
Fish / Summer / Etti Mordo / Serves: 4

4 plum tomatoes
12 tiger or king prawns
50g softened unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
50g Kalamata olives, stoned
20ml Arak (or Pernod)
3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
coarse sea salt


Arak is a Middle Eastern liquor made from aniseed and distilled grapes.


Ebury Press

Start by preparing the tomatoes.
Make a tiny shallow cross with a sharp knife at the bottom of each one and put them in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Remove, refresh under plenty of cold water, then drain.
Now peel the skin away and cut each tomato into 4-6 wedges.
Set aside.

To prepare the prawns, peel the shells away from the bodies, keeping the tail segment of the shell on.
Cut a shallow slit along the back of each prawn and remove the dark vein using the tip of a small knife.

Place a frying pan over a high heat.
When very hot, add 20g of the butter and sauté the prawns quickly for 2 minutes, shaking the pan as you go.
Add the tomatoes, chilli and olives and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the prawns are nearly cooked through.
Add the Arak carefully (it tends to catch fire!).
Let the alcohol evaporate for a minute before quickly adding the remaining butter plus the garlic, parsley and some salt.
Toss for a second for everything to come together in a runny sauce, then serve immediately, with bread.