Seasonal local food recipe No.359 – Vietnamese salad with tiger prawns

Frank made this delicious salad for Friday’s supper.  If you don’t eat prawns you could substitute with some fried tofu or just have the salad as is.  Frank used the radishes and bean sprouts from this week’s veg boxes for an extra bit of crunch!

Serves 4 for a starter or 2 for a main

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

8 tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined (we used frozen)
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
1 bunch fresh coriander
200g cucumber
2 shallots
100g bean sprouts
small bunch radishes, sliced
40g cashew nuts
150g pomelo or grapefruit
For the dressing:
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 small red chilli (eg bird’s-eye)


First make the dressing because you’ll use it to marinate your prawns.  Very finely chop or mince the garlic and chilli.  Place these in an empty jar and then add all the other dressing ingredients.  Shake well until the sugar dissolves.  Taste – you can adjust the level of spice, saltiness, sweetness or sourness according to your tastes.  Place the prawns in a dish and pour over a little of the dressing, just enough to coat.  Refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Deseed and cut the cucumber into fine matchsticks and place in a bowl.  Next, finely slice the shallots and add these.  Then prepare the pomelo/grapefruit – remove the skin from each segment so you only have the juicy centre.  Break the segments into chunks.  Add to the bowl along with the chopped mint and coriander and the beansprouts.

Finally prepare the cashew nuts.  Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven for about 5 minutes until they are golden.  Alternatively you could brown them under a hot grill.  Once they have cooled coarsely chop them and add them to the salad.

Next cook the prawns.  Heat a griddle pan on a high flame with a little olive oil.  Once the oil is hot place your prawns in the pan.  Cook until the prawns are pink and firm but they should not become tough – about 2 minutes each side should be enough.  Take the prawns off the heat and allow to rest while you dress and plate the salad.  Dress the salad and divide evenly between the plates before placing the prawns on top.

Seasonal local food recipe No.321 – Radish and mint tzatziki


This recipe is from the latest West Country FoodLover magazine. It’s a topping for a Turkish pizza but I reckon it would be just as good with a curry.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

1 bunch (10-12) radishes
200g plain yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Trim, wash and slice the radishes finely.  Mix with all the other ingredients and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.295 – Hugh’s radish, mint and spring onion salsa


This taken from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Light and Easy.  Hugh says “Crisp, crunchy and pretty, this colourful little side is delicious with chicken or fish.”

Serves 4-6

Preparation time; 10-15 minutes

150 g radishes
5-6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
2 Tbsp chopped mint
2 Tbsp extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the radishes, roughly chop them and put in a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients, leave for 10-15 minutes if possible, then toss well and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No. 282 – Radish and cucumber salad

This simple recipe appeared in issue 29 of the FoodLover magazine which celebrates West Country food.

Serves 4
Cooking and preparation time: 15 minutes

1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cucumber
20 radishes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
rock salt
handful of rocket leaves

Heat a small frying pan, add the oil then add the mustard and fennel seeds and cook for a few minutes until they become fragrant and start to pop but don’t burn.  Set aside to cool.

Slice the cucumber and the radishes into thin disks and arrange on a platter.  Combine the cooled oil and seeds with the red wine vinegar and season with rock salt to taste.  Drizzle the dressing over the cucumber and radish and then scatter with the rocket.

Seasonal local food recipe No.278 – Hugh’s radishes with butter and salt

This is a simple, time-honoured way of serving radishes, taken from Veg every day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  You need to use very fresh, little roots as they quickly lose their crunch and peppery flavour.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes

About 400g radishes
A pat of unsalted butter, at room temperature but not too soft
A little dish of best quality flaky sea salt

Clean the radishes.  Arrange everything on the table and make sure each diner has a knife.  To eat, just smear a little bit of butter on the end of a radish then sprinkle with the tiniest pinch of salt before popping into your mouth.

Seasonal local food recipe No.221 – Maharashtrian radish salad

This is from Classic Indian Recipes by Manju Malhi.  It’s a quick salad with a simple dressing of lemon juice and salt, the main flavours coming from the chilli and coriander. The recipe says to grate the radishes but I have found finely slicing them to be perfectly adequate and easier on the fingers!

Serves 2-3

Preparation time: 15 minutes

150g radishes, topped and tailed
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 green finger chilli, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
30g coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Coarsely grate or finely slice the radishes and mix with the rest of the ingredients.  Serve as a fresh relish with a curry.

Seasonal local food recipe No.182: Warm halloumi with radish, apple and pecan salad

It turns out that the latest casualty of the financial crisis in Cyprus may be halloumi cheese. Not withstanding, if you like halloumi this recipe is for you. It uses both the polytunnel-grown radishes and mixed salad in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week. It’s adapted from a recipe at BBC GoodFood.

Serves: 4
Preparation/cooking time: around 30 minutes

juice of 1½ limes
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ tbsp honey
1½ eating apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 pear, cored and sliced into matchsticks
1½ tbsp olive oil
2 x 250g packs halloumi cheese, each block sliced into three
150g radishes, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
50g pecans (or walnuts), roughly chopped
70g mixed salad leaves

To make the dressing, whisk together the lime juice, mustard, honey, oil and some seasoning. Pour half into a large bowl, add the sliced apples and pears, then gently toss everything together so all the fruit is coated. Cover and set aside. The fruit will sit happily now for up to 3 hrs without browning.

When you’re ready to eat, warm a large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the slices of halloumi with pepper (it doesn’t need any salt as it’s quite a salty cheese), then fry in batches for 2-3 mins on each side until the cheese is golden brown and beginning to crisp. You can keep the halloumi warm in a low oven while you fry the rest.

At the last minute, scoop the apples and pears out of the dressing (it will have gone watery with the moisture of the fruit, so discard), and layer up on a large platter with the radishes, carrot sticks, pecans or walnuts and mixed salad leaves. Top with the halloumi slices, then drizzle over the remaining dressing.

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