Food & drink

James St South Recipes: Light bites for surviving the heat - Prawn, fennel and pink grapefruit salad and sea salt and rosemary focaccia

Sea salt and rosemary focaccia
Niall McKenna

WITH scorching temperatures falling this week, you may be preparing for winter stews and cosy nights by the fire, but don't be fooled as the hot weather is set to return.

We have got you covered with this week's recipes as light bites are key to surviving the heat.

The first dish is a sea salt and rosemary focaccia, bursting with classic Italian flavours. Focaccia is delicious on its own or served with a complementary salad.

Next up we have a prawn, fennel, and pink grapefruit salad. This dish is fresh and sweet with a hint of heat and works best when made with fresh, quality ingredients. It is sure to impress your guests this summer.

:: For more information, or to book an experience at the Waterman Cookery School, visit www.cookinbelfast.co.uk.

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Prawn Fennel Pink Grapefruit Flowered Salad

300ml of tepid water

3 teaspoons of fresh yeast

500g of Italian type '00' strong flour plus extra for rolling and dusting

1 teaspoon of fine salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra for greasing

Glug of extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

15g of coarse sea salt flakes

Sprigs of chopped rosemary

Method:

Mix the tepid water and yeast in a small bowl until dissolved.

Sieve the flour and fine salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.

Pour in half of the liquid and the olive oil and mix together. When it starts to come together add the remaining liquid to form a sticky dough.

Flour a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes using more flour if necessary. The dough should not be sticky but smooth and elastic.

Oil a bowl and place the dough in, oil some cling film and cover. Leave for up to 90 minutes in a warm place to rise until dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has risen place onto a floured surface and knock out the air with your fist. Knead for 4-5 minutes and place on a baking tray and leave to rest again for 10 minutes.

Shape again by stretching and twisting and cover with a damp tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Drizzle generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil evenly over the dough and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary. Bake for 25-35 minutes until crusty and hollow sounding when tapped underneath.

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Prawn, Fennel and Pink Grapefruit Salad

80g of fennel, sliced

130g of prawns, deshelled and cooked

50g of pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented

10g of red onion, fine dice

10g of mint, chopped

1 chilli, deseeded and fine dice

Method

Deshell prawns and cook in a large pan with a drop of oil and place on medium heat. Once cooked turn over on one side and cook until pink (2 minutes each side).

Slice the fennel very thinly and add in the red onions, mint and top with the cooked prawns.

Season with salt and pepper and top with the grapefruit. This should not need any oil as the prawns are cooked in butter. Top with the chilli and serve.

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