There is something wonderful about going to the grocery store having no clue what you are going to buy. I rarely go to the store with a grocery list because I find that I am most inspired by what looks fresh. This changes daily, so to plan exactly what I will buy is usually pointless. Over the summer, hubs and I went to the store together and he asked, “So, what are you going to make for dinner tonight?” And I said, “I have no clue.” I started meandering around and ended up developing a new recipe that is now one of our favorites.
A similar thing happened at the grocery store just two days ago. I walked in not knowing what I would leave with. Until I saw them. Fresh and beautiful whole prawns. They looked like they had just been scooped out of the ocean and placed in the store that very day. The best part was that they were only 100yen each! So, I grabbed 4 of them and headed home to come up with a way to showcase this beautiful find.
I knew I wanted the recipe to be simple, maintaining the delicious flavor of the prawns and flaunting their unique presentation. I decided I would bake them in sea salt flecked with Herbs de Provence, giving the prawns a light herb flavor and enhancing the fresh-from-the-sea flavor. I was beyond thrilled with the result.
This recipe can be made with any kind of prawn or large shrimp and does not have to include the head (although, if you ask me, you have to have the head to get the ultimate result.) You do have to have the shell on, otherwise the salt flavor will be overwhelming!
Prawns baked in herbed salt
Serves 2 main course or 4 first course
4 large prawns or 1 lb large shrimp
1 cup course sea salt
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence (or other dried herb)
lemon wedges and olive oil for serving
In a baking dish, combine the salt and the herbs. In a 450 degree oven, heat the salt for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and add the prawns. Cover the prawns completely with the salt and return to the oven for 3-5 minutes. Depending on the size of the prawns, you may need to do this for a longer amount of time and perhaps flip them half way through the cooking process.
Remove the prawns from the salt and shake lightly to remove excess. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.