Tunisian Prawns with Kerkennaise Sauce

The Kerkennah Islands off the coast of Tunisia are known for their date palms, olive trees and caper bushes. The Kerkennaise capers are very similar to the famous plump capers of Pantelleria, the Sicilian island just 30 miles away.


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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (4 large)
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers

How to make this recipe

  1. Grate the cut sides of the tomatoes against the large holes of a box grater set in a shallow bowl. Discard the skins. Add the scallions, chile, coriander, caraway, parsley, sugar and vinegar to the grated tomatoes. Using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the garlic to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir the paste and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into the sauce and season with salt. Let the Kerkennaise sauce stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Light a grill. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp over a moderately hot fire until just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to plates and sprinkle with the capers. Serve with the Kerkennaise sauce.

Contributed By Photo © Ngoc Minh Ngo Published February 2006

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