Main: Prawns with white beans and rocket pesto

The final product

I love the May issue of delicious. magazine, because it is the annual Italian issue. I used to have a subscription to delicious. mag, including an international gift subscription from my lovely friend Nat when I lived in Ukraine, but when I returned to Australia I simply wasn’t as inspired as I used to be, so I stopped the sub.

However, recently at the shops I saw the beautiful May Italian issue cover staring at me from the shelves and I had to pick it up. As soon as I got home I earmarked about half of the recipes to try.

The first one I tried was Jill Dupleix’s Prawns with white beans and rocket pesto. Now Mr Moi loves a pasta but he’s getting more conscious about his nutrition in his old age (he’s always been incredibly skinny), so I thought this pasta-esque dish without pasta may appeal to him, and I was right. He loved it.

Since living in Darwin, we have developed the habit of going down to the local fish markets, which are only a five minute drive from our house, so we’ve been eating more seafood than ever. Despite that, though, I still bought the prawns for this recipe from Woolworths, and even though they are tiny, they were technically king prawns. I mourn the poor baby prawns we ate – they were so tiny for king prawns that they must have been little ‘uns.

This recipe was slightly fiddly, but I whizzed up the pesto with my stick blender (best purchase ever) with the bowl attachment. The other fiddly bit obviously was peeling and de-veining the prawns:

Step 1: Source prawns
Step 2: Peel prawns
Step 3: De-vein the prawns (YUK)
Step 4: Contain the evidence, put it in the freezer, and stick it in the bin on bin night. OR leave it in the bin of your mortal enemy

Never anyone’s favourite task – especially in the tropics!

Prawns with white beans and rocket pesto

  • 2T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchinis (courgettes), thinly sliced into rounds
  • Pinch of chilli flakes, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 2 x 400g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100mL vegetable stock (I used Campbell’s – the one and only)
  • Half a kilo green prawns, peeled with tails intact, deveined. I used king prawns but they were babies!
  • Finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 2T flat-leaf parsley leaves

For the pesto

  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50g rocket leaves, chopped
  • 1 hard-boiled egg yolk, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) extra virgin olive oil

For the pesto: Place all ingredients in blender and season with pepper. Pulse into a thick puree. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to loosen and pulse again. Cover and chill.

Ready, steady, PESTO

For the rest: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in frypan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden. Add zucchini and chilli, and cook, tossing for 1 minute. Add beans and stock and simmer for 4 minutes until warmed through. Roughly mash one-quarter of the beans into broth to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and season.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in cleaned frypan over medium-high heat. Season prawns and cook, turning, for 2-3 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Return the bean and zucchini mixture to the pan and mix. Fold pesto through the mix and divide among plates. Top with zest, parsley and chilli (if using). Serves 4.

Top with lemon zest
Et voila!

Adapted from Jill Dupleix’s Prawns with white beans and rocket pesto recipe from the May 2012 issue of delicious. All photos taken with Canon S95

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7 thoughts on “Main: Prawns with white beans and rocket pesto

    1. Thanks Gary – I got a point and shoot for my birthday last year and I’ve been mucking around with the manual settings to learn how I can get the most out of it!

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