If winter is for stew then summer is for salad. Fresh, vibrant and colourful salads that light up our plates like a great big bold traffic light. I may love my cookie dough and tubs of ice cream in this weather, but I’ve always got time for my five a day too and crave them twice as much when the sun comes out.
Salads have really undergone one hell of a transformation in recent years. It’s now the norm to find salads of substance wherever you are and sometimes they’re even the most exciting thing on the menu, especially here in London. But the key is not to load ’em up with tasteless lettuce or drench them in dressing (sorry Caesar!). It’s about giving them a good bit of bulk, whether that’s with grains, starchy veg, or a scattering of nuts, seeds or cheese. It’s just a simple way to bolster flavour and satisfaction all round.
With all the tropical flavours around at the moment, I couldn’t help but get in the salad spirit with this recipe for chilli-lime prawn skewers and wild rice. There’s a sharp kick in the prawns then brought together with sweet, creamy and crunchy ingredients throughout the salad. It features all the summer favourites: mango, avocado, red pepper and sugar snap peas, and so doesn’t need much more than a squeeze of lime to add some zest to such powerful flavours every mouthful through.
For the rice salad
- 1 cup mixed wild and brown rice
- 2 cups of water
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 large mango
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 large avocado
- 100g sugar snap peas
- Salt to taste
For the prawns
- 200g raw king prawns
- 1 lime
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for greasing)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
- A handful of fresh coriander
- Salt to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 160°C.
Rinse your rice and bring to a boil in the water and a generous pinch of salt. Then, reduce to a simmer, cover and leave to cook until all the water is dissolved.
In the meantime, place your prawns in a bowl and add the olive oil, juice from the lime, paprika, chilli flakes and salt. Mix thoroughly, then grease your skewers generously with olive oil and skew the prawns (you should get around 3-4 on each skewer depending on how big your prawns are). Place on a baking tray lined with a sheet of foil. Slice up the remnants of your lime and place on top of the prawns along with a large handful of fresh coriander. Then, wrap the foil up and place the prawns in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until cooked all the way through.
To make the rest of your salad, simply slice the mango, pepper, avocado and sugar snap peas and place in a bowl. Add the rice, lime juice and extra seasoning if you desire and toss well.
Once the prawns are ready, plate up some rice salad with the skewers (there were enough for 3 each when serving 2 people) and enjoy!
Keep any leftover salad in an air-tight box in the fridge for up to three days. It’s as tasty cold as it is warm!