Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

Giant prawns with grapefruit salad and fenugreek creme fraiche

Don’t be put off this glorious salad if you’ve never butterflied a prawn: you’ll soon get the hang of it and it’s a neat skill to have up your sleeve. Serve with steamed rice and maybe some stir-fried Asian greens.

12 giant prawns, shell-on and patted dry (950g net weight)

90ml vegetable oil, for frying

Salt

For the marinade

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1½ tbsp fenugreek seeds

1½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp turmeric powder

1½ tsp caster sugar

1½ tbsp lime juice

4 tbsp vegetable oil

120g creme fraiche

For the salad

1 small ruby grapefruit (about 300g)

1 eschalot, peeled and finely sliced (50g net weight)

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

10g mint leaves

10g coriander leaves

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 limes – juice ½ of 1 lime to get 1 tsp, and cut the rest into wedges, to serve

Using strong kitchen scissors, snip off and discard the legs from each prawn. Next, snip down the centre of the back of their shells, starting just below the head and going right down to the tail. Next, cut down the centre of the head, starting from the base of the neck. Do not remove the shell.

Using a serrated knife, cut through the line you’ve made with the scissors, splitting the flesh of the head and body lengthways; don’t cut all the way through to the underside: you want the prawns to stay intact. Remove and discard the central “vein” (the intestinal tract; it’s safe to eat, but the prawns look more attractive without it), then clean the head cavity with kitchen paper. Lay the prawns shell side up on a board and press down on each one with the flat of your hand so it butterflies open. Turn over the prawns so they’re now flesh side up, and set aside.

For the marinade, blitz all the ingredients, except the creme fraiche, with a third of a teaspoon of salt. Put two teaspoons of the marinade in a small bowl with the creme fraiche, stir together and set aside – you’ll use this when you serve. Season the flesh side of the prawns with a third of a teaspoon of salt in total, then smother the exposed flesh with the remaining marinade. Leave to marinate for at least an hour (or overnight, if you want to get ahead; if you do so, take the prawns out of the fridge an hour before you cook them).

For the salad, peel the grapefruit and cut away any white pith, then release the individual segments by cutting in between the white membrane. Cut each segment lengthways into 5mm-thin slices – you should end up with about 80g of prepared grapefruit pieces.

Gently toss the eschalot, chilli and herbs with the oil, lime juice and a generous pinch of salt, then toss in the grapefruit slices.

When you’re ready to serve, put a large, nonstick frying pan for which you have a lid on a medium-high heat. Add a third of the oil and, once it’s very hot, lay in a third of the prawns flesh side down. Cook for 90 seconds to two minutes, pressing them down with a spatula so they don’t curl up, until crisp and golden brown, then flip over the prawns, cover and cook for a minute more.

Move the prawns to a plate and keep warm, wipe clean the pan, then repeat with the remaining prawns.

Once all the prawns are cooked, drizzle the pan oil from the final batch over them, then arrange on four individual plates and serve with the salad, a spoonful of the creme fraiche mix and a wedge of lime.

Radish and cucumber salad with chipotle peanuts

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

I’d advise doubling up on the chipotle peanuts, because they are seriously addictive.

For the chilli-lime peanuts

1 dried chipotle chilli, stem discarded

90g unsalted blanched peanuts

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1¼ tbsp golden syrup

⅓ tsp flaked sea salt

3-4 limes, zest finely grated, to get 3 tsp, and juiced, to get 3½ tbsp

tbsp olive oil

For the salad

1 cucumber, cut into 2mm thick half- moons

1 daikon, peeled and cut into 2mm thick half-moons

50g breakfast radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline

20g coriander, leaves picked with some of their stalks

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar

Salt and black pepper

For the chilli-lime peanuts, blitz the chipotle to a fine powder, measure out half a teaspoon, and set aside the rest for later. Put the chipotle in a small sauté pan with the peanuts, cayenne pepper, golden syrup, flaked sea salt, two teaspoons of lime zest, one-and-a-half teaspoons of lime juice and the same of oil. Put the pan on a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, for about eight minutes, until the peanuts are sticky and well coated. Transfer to a paper-lined baking tray and leave to cool completely. Break apart into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the cucumber, daikon, radish and two-thirds of the coriander. Separately, combine the garlic, jalapeño, the remaining zest and juice and remaining two tablespoons of oil in a small bowl and whisk. Pour over the vegetables, along with the cumin, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then mix well to coat. Transfer to a large serving platter and top with the remaining coriander and half the peanuts, serving the remaining peanuts in a bowl alongside.

Fennel salad with pistachios and oven-dried grapes

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

It might seem a bit much to roast grapes for a so-called “easy” salad, but in reality that only involves putting them on a tray and into the oven. You can roast them ahead of time, too: at room temperature, these little sweet flavour bombs will keep for a day, ready and waiting to take on the acidity of the dressing. Serves four to six as a starter or side dish.

500g seedless red grapes

2½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed slightly

2 tsp soft dark brown sugar

Flaked sea salt and black pepper

2 small fennel bulbs, cut lengthways into 3-4mm-thick slices (use a mandoline, ideally); fronds reserved

60ml olive oil

1 lemon, zest finely grated to get 1 tsp, then juiced to get 2 tbsp

Finely grated zest of ½ orange

½ tsp nigella seeds

30g mint leaves, roughly torn

50g shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 140C/285F/gas mark 1.

Line a 28cm x 18cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the grapes in a medium bowl with the fennel seeds, sugar, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of water, toss to coat the fruit in the mix, then spread out on the prepared tray.

Roast for an hour, until the grapes are shrivelled and soft, then leave to cool.

Put the fennel in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, pour this over the fennel and toss so it’s all coated in the dressing. Leave to steep for 10 minutes, to soften the fennel.

Just before serving, mix the lemon and orange zest, nigella seeds, mint, any fennel fronds and half the pistachios into the fennel bowl. Stir through half the roasted grapes, then spread out the salad on a large platter. Scatter the remaining grapes and pistachios over the top, sprinkle on a final half-teaspoon of salt and serve.

BBQ lamb tacos with pineapple pickle and chutney

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

With tacos, I like to pile all the various elements on a big platter, so everyone can make their own. You can make the pickle a day or two ahead.

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the flat of a knife

4 limes, 1 zested, the rest cut into 8 wedges each

100ml white-wine vinegar

Salt

1 medium pineapple, trimmed, peeled, quartered lengthways and cored

¼ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into julienne strips

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 dried habanero chilli (or to taste)

700g lamb neck fillet, cut into 12cm-wide pieces (depending on the size of your fillet, you’ll end up with 2 or 3)

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

15g coriander leaves, finely sliced

About 15 corn or wheat tortillas

Start with the pickle. Put one garlic clove, the lime zest, vinegar and 100ml water in a small saucepan on a medium heat, add half a teaspoon of salt and heat for two minutes, until simmering gently. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then tip into a medium plastic container for which you have a lid. Cut 150g pineapple into 4cm-long x 0.5cm-wide strips, and add these to the pickling liquor with the onion and red chilli. Cover and refrigerate for two to three hours, or even overnight.

Cut the remaining pineapple into rough chunks and put them in the small bowl of a food processor with the cumin, five spice, habanero, the remaining garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Blitz to the consistency of a runny apple sauce, then tip into a large bowl and add the lamb, making sure it’s all submerged in the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for two to three hours (but no longer).

Half an hour before you are ready to cook, take the lamb bowl out of the fridge and scrape as much marinade off the meat as you can. Put all the marinade in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, add the honey and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thick and reduced to a texture resembling chutney: you should end up with about 200g.

Season the lamb with half a teaspoon of salt in total, and ventilate the kitchen. Put a large griddle pan on a high flame until it starts to smoke, add the oil, then griddle the pieces of lamb for eight to 10 minutes, turning them every few minutes, until charred all over. Transfer to a board and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 0.5cm-thick slices and season with more salt, this time with just a quarter teaspoon in total.

Melt the butter in a large, nonstick frying pan on a high heat, then fry the lamb slices for a minute on each side, until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a board, scrape any pan fat or juices over the lamb, then cover with foil to keep warm.

Drain the pickled pineapple and onion (discard the garlic and lime peel, but keep the liquid: you may need it for any leftover pickle). Pile the meat on a platter or board, put the chutney and pickles into bowls and serve with coriander, lime wedges and a pile of warm tortillas.

Fried goat’s cheese with quick blueberry chutney

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

This summery starter is a bit of a retro throwback, but don’t let that put you off: the warm cheese and sweet, spicy chutney are a marvellous combination. This will make more chutney than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for a week.

300g soft goat’s cheese

15g chives, finely chopped

20g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

20g dill leaves, roughly chopped

1 lemon – zest finely grated to get 1 tsp, and juiced to get 1 tbsp

30g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

75g panko breadcrumbs

200ml sunflower oil

120g rocket

½ tbsp olive oil

For the chutney

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 wide strips shaved lemon peel (avoid the bitter white pith)

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped (10g)

1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar

8 cardamom pods, skins discarded and seeds finely crushed in a mortar

1 tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

250g blueberries

2 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp cider vinegar

Salt and black pepper

For the chutney, heat the oil in a medium saute pan over a medium flame. Add the onion and lemon peel, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Add the ginger, chilli and spices, and cook, stirring, for a minute more. Add the blueberries, sugar, vinegar, two tablespoons of water, half a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes, until it has reduced to the consistency of jam, then leave to cool.

In a bowl, mix the cheese, chives, half the tarragon and dill, the lemon zest, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Put the flour, egg and panko in three separate bowls. Shape the cheese mix into eight flat patties about 6cm in diameter and weighing about 40g each. Working one patty at a time, dip it first in the flour bowl, shaking off any excess, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs, to coat. Put the breaded patty on a tray and repeat with the remaining mix.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large saute pan on a medium flame. Once hot, fry the patties for about three minutes on each side, until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to drain.

To serve, mix the rocket with the remaining herbs, olive oil, the lemon juice, a light sprinkling of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Divide the salad between four plates, top each with two patties and a generous spoonful of the chutney.

Five-spice pork belly with peach, raspberry and watercress salad

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

The pork and the salad both work on their own, but the combination of the two is wonderful.

60ml maple syrup

6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

200ml red wine

200ml port

1½ tbsp Chinese five-spice

Flaky sea salt

1.5kg pork belly, off the bone, skin on

100ml sunflower oil

For the peach and raspberry salad

1½ tbsp cider vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup

¼ tsp Chinese five-spice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

100g fresh raspberries

3 peaches, halved, stoned and each half cut into 0.5cm-wide wedges

40g watercress

½ small radicchio, leaves separated and cut into 2.5cm-wide slices

In a large bowl, mix the maple syrup, garlic, wine, port and five-spice with a tablespoon of salt. Put the pork in the bowl, rub the sauce all over and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lift the pork from its marinade and lay it skin side up on a high-sided 20cm x 30cm oven tray. Pour over the marinade from the bowl, seal the tray tightly with foil, and roast for two hours. Lift off the foil, baste the pork and roast uncovered for another hour, until the meat is tender and crisp; during this final hour, check that there’s always a bit of sauce in the bottom of the tray, otherwise the meat may burn; add a little water if the marinade looks like evaporating.

Transfer the pork belly to a board and leave to rest. Tip the juices from the tray into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and leave to bubble for three to four minutes, until thick and jam-like. Take off the heat.

Using a small knife, carefully tease the skin away from the belly and discard, then cut the meat into eight equal-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a large, deep pot on a medium-high flame. Once hot, add the pork (you may need to do this in two batches) and fry for four minutes, turning regularly so it browns and crisps all over – take care, because the oil may spit. Add the fried pork to the thick sauce and stir to coat in the sticky juices.

For the salad, mix the vinegar, syrup, five-spice, oil, shallot and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt, stir in the raspberries and crush slightly with the back of the spoon.

Put the peaches and all the leaves in a salad bowl, pour on the dressing and toss. Serve two pieces of pork per portion with the salad alongside.

Iceberg wedges with eggplant cream and super crunchy topping

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

There’s a bucketful of crisp textures in this salad, and one sharp, creamy dressing that brings everything together nicely. It was inspired by a dish I had at Aloette, a splendid restaurant in Toronto, Canada.

1 small head iceberg lettuce (350g), cut into 12 wedges

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper

25g parmesan, finely grated

45g rainbow radishes, peeled and thinly sliced (ideally on a mandoline), or use normal radishes

2 small avocados, stoned, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small handful chives, cut into 1½cm lengths

For the eggplant cream

2 medium eggplant (600g)

2½ tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

50g greek yoghurt

2 tsp dijon mustard

60ml olive oil

For the crunchy topping

1 tbsp olive oil

60g skin-on almonds, roughly chopped

100g sourdough, crusts removed, blitzed into coarse crumbs, to get 60g

50g pumpkin seeds

⅓ tsp urfa chilli

First make the eggplant cream. Put a well-greased griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. Poke the eggplant with a fork seven or eight times all over and, once the pan is smoking, grill them for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the outsides are completely charred and the insides soft.

Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and, once cool enough to handle, remove the flesh; discard the stems and as much of the charred skin as you can. Measure out 200g eggplant flesh, and reserve any excess for another use.

Transfer to a food processor with the remaining cream ingredients, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and blitz smooth.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for about two minutes. Add the bread, pumpkin seeds and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring continuously, for five minutes more, until golden. Add the chilli, cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer to a tray and leave to cool completely.

To assemble, divide the lettuce wedges between four plates. Top each portion with a teaspoon and a half of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spoon over the eggplant cream, followed by the parmesan, radishes and avocado. Sprinkle again lightly with salt and pepper, then drizzle the last two tablespoons of oil on top. Scatter over the chives and a generous helping of the crunchy topping, and serve any extra alongside.

Red rice salad with avocado and grilled corn

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

I like serving this as a composed salad in individual bowls, so that all the various elements remain clearly distinct. But for a more informal look, just mix the rice in a bowl with all the cooked vegetables and serve. Thanks is due to Joan McNamara from Los Angeles’ legendary Joan’s On Third restaurant.

150g red rice

1 large red onion, peeled, quartered and the individual layers separated

1 tbsp peanut oil

Salt

2 corn cobs, peeled if in husks, trimmed

6-7 spring onions, trimmed

150g edamame beans, blanched for 30 seconds and drained

80g sugar snaps, cut in half lengthways

2 medium avocados, peeled and stoned just before serving, then cut into 2cm dice

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted, to serve

15g coriander leaves (optional)

1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

For the dressing

1½ tbsp white-wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

¾ tsp caster sugar

½ tsp flaked chilli

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

3 tbsp peanut oil

¾ tsp sesame oil

Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the rice and cook for 25 minutes, until soft but still retaining a bite. Drain, refresh under cold water, set aside in a colander to dry, then transfer to a large bowl.

While the rice is cooking, use a freestanding or hand-blender to blitz all the dressing ingredients with a quarter teaspoon of salt until smooth and thick, then set aside.

Put a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. In a medium bowl, mix the onion with the oil and a quarter teaspoon of salt. When the pan starts to smoke, add the onion and cook for four minutes, turning over every 30 seconds, until the individual leaves are soft and charred all over, then transfer to the rice bowl.

Lay the corn cobs on the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them every minute or so, until charred on all sides. Remove from the heat and, once cool enough to handle, hold each cob upright on a board and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels in clumps. Add these to the rice bowl.

Lay the spring onions in the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them over often, until charred and smoky all over. Remove from the heat, chop into 5cm-long pieces and add to the bowl.

When you’re ready to serve, add the sugar snaps and avocados to the veg bowl, pour over the dressing and toss very gently; I prefer it when the ingredients aren’t completely evenly distributed, so a minimal toss should more than do. Serve in individual portions, sprinkling each with sesame seeds and picked coriander, if you like, with a lime wedge on the side.

Berry platter with sheep’s labneh and orange oil

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

This display of the season’s best can double up as a light dessert or as a brunch centrepiece. You can make your own labneh, but it requires draining the yoghurt for a good 24 hours – you can also easily make everything on the day using shop-bought labneh or some Greek yoghurt mixed with a little double cream.

The berries you use are totally up to you, depending on what’s good and not too expensive. You can use as many or as few types as you like, or add some frozen berries – especially for those that get blitzed in the recipe.

You’ll make more oil than you need; store it in a glass jar to drizzle over salads or lightly cooked vegetables.

900g sheep’s yoghurt, or cow’s yoghurt

¾ tsp salt

100ml good-quality olive oil

10g lemon thyme sprigs, plus a few extra picked thyme leaves to serve

1 orange; pared, to get 6 finely shaved strips of zest

200g blackberries

250g raspberries

300g strawberries, hulled and halved lengthways (or quartered if they’re larger)

50g caster sugar

1 lime; zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp

200g blueberries

150g cherries, pitted

Mix the yoghurt and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Line a colander with a piece of cheesecloth large enough to hang over the sides and put the colander over another bowl. Transfer the yoghurt to the cheesecloth and fold over the sides to encase the yoghurt. Put a heavy weight over the cloth, and transfer to the refrigerator to drain for at least 24 hours (and up to 48).

Meanwhile, put a small pan for which you have a lid on a medium heat and add the oil. Heat gently for about seven minutes, or until tiny air bubbles form. Remove from the heat, add the thyme and orange strips, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for at least half an hour, and ideally overnight.

The next day, add 50g of the blackberries, 100g of the raspberries and 100g of the strawberries, the sugar and lime juice to the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Add all the remaining berries and the cherries to a large bowl, add the blitzed fruit and gently combine. You can use this straight away, or leave in the fridge for a few hours, bringing back to room temperature before serving.

Spread the labneh on a large platter. Spoon over the berries, then sprinkle with lime zest. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the infused oil, including a couple of the orange strips, and extra thyme leaves.

Peach, rosemary and lime galette

Yotam Ottolenghi's 10 recipes perfect for the Australian summer

This makes good use of firm, not-so-ripe peaches. By macerating them in sugar and lime juice, you not only soften the fruit, but you also make a beautiful syrup to pour over the dish at the end. Rosemary, which I’ve used both in this dish and in the shrub, is a fantastic match for peach. Serves four generously.

2 limes – 1 peeled in 7 long strips, the other grated to get 1 tsp, then both juiced to get 1½ tbsp

80g caster sugar

2 large firm peaches, stoned and cut into 0.5cm-thick slices (300g net weight)

2 large sprigs rosemary, plus ½ tbsp picked leaves

150g creme fraiche

Plain flour, for dusting

200g all-butter puff pastry

10g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces

1 egg, beaten

¼ tsp cornflour

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Mix the lime juice with 60g sugar in a large bowl, add the peaches, strips of lime skin and rosemary sprigs. Stir and set aside to macerate for at least 40 minutes and up to a couple of hours. Strain the peaches through a sieve set over a small saucepan and discard the rosemary and lime peel: you should end up with about 60ml peach syrup.

Mix the grated zest and a teaspoon of sugar into the creme fraiche and refrigerate until ready to serve.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a 26cm-wide circle just under 0.5cm thick, then transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Arrange the strained peaches haphazardly in the middle of the pastry, leaving a clear 6cm border all around the edge, then fold this outer 6cm rim up and over the peaches. Dot the butter over the exposed peaches, then brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar evenly over the pastry and bake for 20 minutes, until it’s golden and the filling is beginning to bubble.

While the galette is baking, whisk the cornflour into the reserved peach syrup. Simmer over a medium-high heat until it thickens to the consistency of honey (about two minutes), then pour over the peaches. Sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top and return the galette to the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling bubbling.

Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a bowl of the lime creme fraiche on the side.

  • These recipes have been selected from the Guardian’s recipe archive, based on produce that is currently in season in Australia. Some recipes have been modified to reflect Australian cooking terminology.

Giant prawns with grapefruit salad and fenugreek creme fraiche

Don’t be put off this glorious salad if you’ve never butterflied a prawn: you’ll soon get the hang of it and it’s a neat skill to have up your sleeve. Serve with steamed rice and maybe some stir-fried Asian greens.

12 giant prawns, shell-on and patted dry (950g net weight)

90ml vegetable oil, for frying

Salt

For the marinade

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1½ tbsp fenugreek seeds

1½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp turmeric powder

1½ tsp caster sugar

1½ tbsp lime juice

4 tbsp vegetable oil

120g creme fraiche

For the salad

1 small ruby grapefruit (about 300g)

1 eschalot, peeled and finely sliced (50g net weight)

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced

10g mint leaves

10g coriander leaves

1 tsp vegetable oil

2 limes – juice ½ of 1 lime to get 1 tsp, and cut the rest into wedges, to serve

Using strong kitchen scissors, snip off and discard the legs from each prawn. Next, snip down the centre of the back of their shells, starting just below the head and going right down to the tail. Next, cut down the centre of the head, starting from the base of the neck. Do not remove the shell.

Using a serrated knife, cut through the line you’ve made with the scissors, splitting the flesh of the head and body lengthways; don’t cut all the way through to the underside: you want the prawns to stay intact. Remove and discard the central “vein” (the intestinal tract; it’s safe to eat, but the prawns look more attractive without it), then clean the head cavity with kitchen paper. Lay the prawns shell side up on a board and press down on each one with the flat of your hand so it butterflies open. Turn over the prawns so they’re now flesh side up, and set aside.

For the marinade, blitz all the ingredients, except the creme fraiche, with a third of a teaspoon of salt. Put two teaspoons of the marinade in a small bowl with the creme fraiche, stir together and set aside – you’ll use this when you serve. Season the flesh side of the prawns with a third of a teaspoon of salt in total, then smother the exposed flesh with the remaining marinade. Leave to marinate for at least an hour (or overnight, if you want to get ahead; if you do so, take the prawns out of the fridge an hour before you cook them).

For the salad, peel the grapefruit and cut away any white pith, then release the individual segments by cutting in between the white membrane. Cut each segment lengthways into 5mm-thin slices – you should end up with about 80g of prepared grapefruit pieces.

Gently toss the eschalot, chilli and herbs with the oil, lime juice and a generous pinch of salt, then toss in the grapefruit slices.

When you’re ready to serve, put a large, nonstick frying pan for which you have a lid on a medium-high heat. Add a third of the oil and, once it’s very hot, lay in a third of the prawns flesh side down. Cook for 90 seconds to two minutes, pressing them down with a spatula so they don’t curl up, until crisp and golden brown, then flip over the prawns, cover and cook for a minute more.

Move the prawns to a plate and keep warm, wipe clean the pan, then repeat with the remaining prawns.

Once all the prawns are cooked, drizzle the pan oil from the final batch over them, then arrange on four individual plates and serve with the salad, a spoonful of the creme fraiche mix and a wedge of lime.

Radish and cucumber salad with chipotle peanuts

I’d advise doubling up on the chipotle peanuts, because they are seriously addictive.

For the chilli-lime peanuts

1 dried chipotle chilli, stem discarded

90g unsalted blanched peanuts

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1¼ tbsp golden syrup

⅓ tsp flaked sea salt

3-4 limes, zest finely grated, to get 3 tsp, and juiced, to get 3½ tbsp

tbsp olive oil

For the salad

1 cucumber, cut into 2mm thick half- moons

1 daikon, peeled and cut into 2mm thick half-moons

50g breakfast radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline

20g coriander, leaves picked with some of their stalks

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar

Salt and black pepper

For the chilli-lime peanuts, blitz the chipotle to a fine powder, measure out half a teaspoon, and set aside the rest for later. Put the chipotle in a small sauté pan with the peanuts, cayenne pepper, golden syrup, flaked sea salt, two teaspoons of lime zest, one-and-a-half teaspoons of lime juice and the same of oil. Put the pan on a medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, for about eight minutes, until the peanuts are sticky and well coated. Transfer to a paper-lined baking tray and leave to cool completely. Break apart into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the cucumber, daikon, radish and two-thirds of the coriander. Separately, combine the garlic, jalapeño, the remaining zest and juice and remaining two tablespoons of oil in a small bowl and whisk. Pour over the vegetables, along with the cumin, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, then mix well to coat. Transfer to a large serving platter and top with the remaining coriander and half the peanuts, serving the remaining peanuts in a bowl alongside.

Fennel salad with pistachios and oven-dried grapes

It might seem a bit much to roast grapes for a so-called “easy” salad, but in reality that only involves putting them on a tray and into the oven. You can roast them ahead of time, too: at room temperature, these little sweet flavour bombs will keep for a day, ready and waiting to take on the acidity of the dressing. Serves four to six as a starter or side dish.

500g seedless red grapes

2½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed slightly

2 tsp soft dark brown sugar

Flaked sea salt and black pepper

2 small fennel bulbs, cut lengthways into 3-4mm-thick slices (use a mandoline, ideally); fronds reserved

60ml olive oil

1 lemon, zest finely grated to get 1 tsp, then juiced to get 2 tbsp

Finely grated zest of ½ orange

½ tsp nigella seeds

30g mint leaves, roughly torn

50g shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 140C/285F/gas mark 1.

Line a 28cm x 18cm baking tray with greaseproof paper. Put the grapes in a medium bowl with the fennel seeds, sugar, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of water, toss to coat the fruit in the mix, then spread out on the prepared tray.

Roast for an hour, until the grapes are shrivelled and soft, then leave to cool.

Put the fennel in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, pour this over the fennel and toss so it’s all coated in the dressing. Leave to steep for 10 minutes, to soften the fennel.

Just before serving, mix the lemon and orange zest, nigella seeds, mint, any fennel fronds and half the pistachios into the fennel bowl. Stir through half the roasted grapes, then spread out the salad on a large platter. Scatter the remaining grapes and pistachios over the top, sprinkle on a final half-teaspoon of salt and serve.

BBQ lamb tacos with pineapple pickle and chutney

With tacos, I like to pile all the various elements on a big platter, so everyone can make their own. You can make the pickle a day or two ahead.

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the flat of a knife

4 limes, 1 zested, the rest cut into 8 wedges each

100ml white-wine vinegar

Salt

1 medium pineapple, trimmed, peeled, quartered lengthways and cored

¼ small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into julienne strips

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 dried habanero chilli (or to taste)

700g lamb neck fillet, cut into 12cm-wide pieces (depending on the size of your fillet, you’ll end up with 2 or 3)

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

15g coriander leaves, finely sliced

About 15 corn or wheat tortillas

Start with the pickle. Put one garlic clove, the lime zest, vinegar and 100ml water in a small saucepan on a medium heat, add half a teaspoon of salt and heat for two minutes, until simmering gently. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then tip into a medium plastic container for which you have a lid. Cut 150g pineapple into 4cm-long x 0.5cm-wide strips, and add these to the pickling liquor with the onion and red chilli. Cover and refrigerate for two to three hours, or even overnight.

Cut the remaining pineapple into rough chunks and put them in the small bowl of a food processor with the cumin, five spice, habanero, the remaining garlic clove and half a teaspoon of salt. Blitz to the consistency of a runny apple sauce, then tip into a large bowl and add the lamb, making sure it’s all submerged in the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for two to three hours (but no longer).

Half an hour before you are ready to cook, take the lamb bowl out of the fridge and scrape as much marinade off the meat as you can. Put all the marinade in a medium saucepan on a medium heat, add the honey and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thick and reduced to a texture resembling chutney: you should end up with about 200g.

Season the lamb with half a teaspoon of salt in total, and ventilate the kitchen. Put a large griddle pan on a high flame until it starts to smoke, add the oil, then griddle the pieces of lamb for eight to 10 minutes, turning them every few minutes, until charred all over. Transfer to a board and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 0.5cm-thick slices and season with more salt, this time with just a quarter teaspoon in total.

Melt the butter in a large, nonstick frying pan on a high heat, then fry the lamb slices for a minute on each side, until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a board, scrape any pan fat or juices over the lamb, then cover with foil to keep warm.

Drain the pickled pineapple and onion (discard the garlic and lime peel, but keep the liquid: you may need it for any leftover pickle). Pile the meat on a platter or board, put the chutney and pickles into bowls and serve with coriander, lime wedges and a pile of warm tortillas.

Fried goat’s cheese with quick blueberry chutney

This summery starter is a bit of a retro throwback, but don’t let that put you off: the warm cheese and sweet, spicy chutney are a marvellous combination. This will make more chutney than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for a week.

300g soft goat’s cheese

15g chives, finely chopped

20g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

20g dill leaves, roughly chopped

1 lemon – zest finely grated to get 1 tsp, and juiced to get 1 tbsp

30g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

75g panko breadcrumbs

200ml sunflower oil

120g rocket

½ tbsp olive oil

For the chutney

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 wide strips shaved lemon peel (avoid the bitter white pith)

2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped (10g)

1½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed in a mortar

8 cardamom pods, skins discarded and seeds finely crushed in a mortar

1 tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

250g blueberries

2 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp cider vinegar

Salt and black pepper

For the chutney, heat the oil in a medium saute pan over a medium flame. Add the onion and lemon peel, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and lightly browned. Add the ginger, chilli and spices, and cook, stirring, for a minute more. Add the blueberries, sugar, vinegar, two tablespoons of water, half a teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes, until it has reduced to the consistency of jam, then leave to cool.

In a bowl, mix the cheese, chives, half the tarragon and dill, the lemon zest, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Put the flour, egg and panko in three separate bowls. Shape the cheese mix into eight flat patties about 6cm in diameter and weighing about 40g each. Working one patty at a time, dip it first in the flour bowl, shaking off any excess, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs, to coat. Put the breaded patty on a tray and repeat with the remaining mix.

Heat the sunflower oil in a large saute pan on a medium flame. Once hot, fry the patties for about three minutes on each side, until golden brown, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to drain.

To serve, mix the rocket with the remaining herbs, olive oil, the lemon juice, a light sprinkling of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Divide the salad between four plates, top each with two patties and a generous spoonful of the chutney.

Five-spice pork belly with peach, raspberry and watercress salad

The pork and the salad both work on their own, but the combination of the two is wonderful.

60ml maple syrup

6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

200ml red wine

200ml port

1½ tbsp Chinese five-spice

Flaky sea salt

1.5kg pork belly, off the bone, skin on

100ml sunflower oil

For the peach and raspberry salad

1½ tbsp cider vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup

¼ tsp Chinese five-spice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

100g fresh raspberries

3 peaches, halved, stoned and each half cut into 0.5cm-wide wedges

40g watercress

½ small radicchio, leaves separated and cut into 2.5cm-wide slices

In a large bowl, mix the maple syrup, garlic, wine, port and five-spice with a tablespoon of salt. Put the pork in the bowl, rub the sauce all over and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lift the pork from its marinade and lay it skin side up on a high-sided 20cm x 30cm oven tray. Pour over the marinade from the bowl, seal the tray tightly with foil, and roast for two hours. Lift off the foil, baste the pork and roast uncovered for another hour, until the meat is tender and crisp; during this final hour, check that there’s always a bit of sauce in the bottom of the tray, otherwise the meat may burn; add a little water if the marinade looks like evaporating.

Transfer the pork belly to a board and leave to rest. Tip the juices from the tray into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and leave to bubble for three to four minutes, until thick and jam-like. Take off the heat.

Using a small knife, carefully tease the skin away from the belly and discard, then cut the meat into eight equal-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a large, deep pot on a medium-high flame. Once hot, add the pork (you may need to do this in two batches) and fry for four minutes, turning regularly so it browns and crisps all over – take care, because the oil may spit. Add the fried pork to the thick sauce and stir to coat in the sticky juices.

For the salad, mix the vinegar, syrup, five-spice, oil, shallot and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt, stir in the raspberries and crush slightly with the back of the spoon.

Put the peaches and all the leaves in a salad bowl, pour on the dressing and toss. Serve two pieces of pork per portion with the salad alongside.

Iceberg wedges with eggplant cream and super crunchy topping

There’s a bucketful of crisp textures in this salad, and one sharp, creamy dressing that brings everything together nicely. It was inspired by a dish I had at Aloette, a splendid restaurant in Toronto, Canada.

1 small head iceberg lettuce (350g), cut into 12 wedges

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper

25g parmesan, finely grated

45g rainbow radishes, peeled and thinly sliced (ideally on a mandoline), or use normal radishes

2 small avocados, stoned, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small handful chives, cut into 1½cm lengths

For the eggplant cream

2 medium eggplant (600g)

2½ tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

50g greek yoghurt

2 tsp dijon mustard

60ml olive oil

For the crunchy topping

1 tbsp olive oil

60g skin-on almonds, roughly chopped

100g sourdough, crusts removed, blitzed into coarse crumbs, to get 60g

50g pumpkin seeds

⅓ tsp urfa chilli

First make the eggplant cream. Put a well-greased griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. Poke the eggplant with a fork seven or eight times all over and, once the pan is smoking, grill them for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the outsides are completely charred and the insides soft.

Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and, once cool enough to handle, remove the flesh; discard the stems and as much of the charred skin as you can. Measure out 200g eggplant flesh, and reserve any excess for another use.

Transfer to a food processor with the remaining cream ingredients, half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and blitz smooth.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for about two minutes. Add the bread, pumpkin seeds and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring continuously, for five minutes more, until golden. Add the chilli, cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer to a tray and leave to cool completely.

To assemble, divide the lettuce wedges between four plates. Top each portion with a teaspoon and a half of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spoon over the eggplant cream, followed by the parmesan, radishes and avocado. Sprinkle again lightly with salt and pepper, then drizzle the last two tablespoons of oil on top. Scatter over the chives and a generous helping of the crunchy topping, and serve any extra alongside.

Red rice salad with avocado and grilled corn

I like serving this as a composed salad in individual bowls, so that all the various elements remain clearly distinct. But for a more informal look, just mix the rice in a bowl with all the cooked vegetables and serve. Thanks is due to Joan McNamara from Los Angeles’ legendary Joan’s On Third restaurant.

150g red rice

1 large red onion, peeled, quartered and the individual layers separated

1 tbsp peanut oil

Salt

2 corn cobs, peeled if in husks, trimmed

6-7 spring onions, trimmed

150g edamame beans, blanched for 30 seconds and drained

80g sugar snaps, cut in half lengthways

2 medium avocados, peeled and stoned just before serving, then cut into 2cm dice

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted, to serve

15g coriander leaves (optional)

1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve

For the dressing

1½ tbsp white-wine vinegar

1 tbsp soy sauce

¾ tsp caster sugar

½ tsp flaked chilli

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

3 tbsp peanut oil

¾ tsp sesame oil

Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the rice and cook for 25 minutes, until soft but still retaining a bite. Drain, refresh under cold water, set aside in a colander to dry, then transfer to a large bowl.

While the rice is cooking, use a freestanding or hand-blender to blitz all the dressing ingredients with a quarter teaspoon of salt until smooth and thick, then set aside.

Put a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. In a medium bowl, mix the onion with the oil and a quarter teaspoon of salt. When the pan starts to smoke, add the onion and cook for four minutes, turning over every 30 seconds, until the individual leaves are soft and charred all over, then transfer to the rice bowl.

Lay the corn cobs on the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them every minute or so, until charred on all sides. Remove from the heat and, once cool enough to handle, hold each cob upright on a board and use a sharp knife to shave off the kernels in clumps. Add these to the rice bowl.

Lay the spring onions in the griddle and cook for six minutes, turning them over often, until charred and smoky all over. Remove from the heat, chop into 5cm-long pieces and add to the bowl.

When you’re ready to serve, add the sugar snaps and avocados to the veg bowl, pour over the dressing and toss very gently; I prefer it when the ingredients aren’t completely evenly distributed, so a minimal toss should more than do. Serve in individual portions, sprinkling each with sesame seeds and picked coriander, if you like, with a lime wedge on the side.

Berry platter with sheep’s labneh and orange oil

This display of the season’s best can double up as a light dessert or as a brunch centrepiece. You can make your own labneh, but it requires draining the yoghurt for a good 24 hours – you can also easily make everything on the day using shop-bought labneh or some Greek yoghurt mixed with a little double cream.

The berries you use are totally up to you, depending on what’s good and not too expensive. You can use as many or as few types as you like, or add some frozen berries – especially for those that get blitzed in the recipe.

You’ll make more oil than you need; store it in a glass jar to drizzle over salads or lightly cooked vegetables.

900g sheep’s yoghurt, or cow’s yoghurt

¾ tsp salt

100ml good-quality olive oil

10g lemon thyme sprigs, plus a few extra picked thyme leaves to serve

1 orange; pared, to get 6 finely shaved strips of zest

200g blackberries

250g raspberries

300g strawberries, hulled and halved lengthways (or quartered if they’re larger)

50g caster sugar

1 lime; zest finely grated, to get 1 tsp, and juiced, to get 1 tbsp

200g blueberries

150g cherries, pitted

Mix the yoghurt and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Line a colander with a piece of cheesecloth large enough to hang over the sides and put the colander over another bowl. Transfer the yoghurt to the cheesecloth and fold over the sides to encase the yoghurt. Put a heavy weight over the cloth, and transfer to the refrigerator to drain for at least 24 hours (and up to 48).

Meanwhile, put a small pan for which you have a lid on a medium heat and add the oil. Heat gently for about seven minutes, or until tiny air bubbles form. Remove from the heat, add the thyme and orange strips, cover with a lid and leave to infuse for at least half an hour, and ideally overnight.

The next day, add 50g of the blackberries, 100g of the raspberries and 100g of the strawberries, the sugar and lime juice to the small bowl of a food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Add all the remaining berries and the cherries to a large bowl, add the blitzed fruit and gently combine. You can use this straight away, or leave in the fridge for a few hours, bringing back to room temperature before serving.

Spread the labneh on a large platter. Spoon over the berries, then sprinkle with lime zest. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the infused oil, including a couple of the orange strips, and extra thyme leaves.

Peach, rosemary and lime galette

This makes good use of firm, not-so-ripe peaches. By macerating them in sugar and lime juice, you not only soften the fruit, but you also make a beautiful syrup to pour over the dish at the end. Rosemary, which I’ve used both in this dish and in the shrub, is a fantastic match for peach. Serves four generously.

2 limes – 1 peeled in 7 long strips, the other grated to get 1 tsp, then both juiced to get 1½ tbsp

80g caster sugar

2 large firm peaches, stoned and cut into 0.5cm-thick slices (300g net weight)

2 large sprigs rosemary, plus ½ tbsp picked leaves

150g creme fraiche

Plain flour, for dusting

200g all-butter puff pastry

10g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm pieces

1 egg, beaten

¼ tsp cornflour

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Mix the lime juice with 60g sugar in a large bowl, add the peaches, strips of lime skin and rosemary sprigs. Stir and set aside to macerate for at least 40 minutes and up to a couple of hours. Strain the peaches through a sieve set over a small saucepan and discard the rosemary and lime peel: you should end up with about 60ml peach syrup.

Mix the grated zest and a teaspoon of sugar into the creme fraiche and refrigerate until ready to serve.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a 26cm-wide circle just under 0.5cm thick, then transfer to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Arrange the strained peaches haphazardly in the middle of the pastry, leaving a clear 6cm border all around the edge, then fold this outer 6cm rim up and over the peaches. Dot the butter over the exposed peaches, then brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of sugar evenly over the pastry and bake for 20 minutes, until it’s golden and the filling is beginning to bubble.

While the galette is baking, whisk the cornflour into the reserved peach syrup. Simmer over a medium-high heat until it thickens to the consistency of honey (about two minutes), then pour over the peaches. Sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top and return the galette to the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the filling bubbling.

Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a bowl of the lime creme fraiche on the side.

  • These recipes have been selected from the Guardian’s recipe archive, based on produce that is currently in season in Australia. Some recipes have been modified to reflect Australian cooking terminology.