Five Spring Recipes: Chervil Scented Prawns

Chervil’s aromatic sweetness perfectly matches that of cold shellfish. Try it with crab, or, as here, with prawns.

| February/March 1999

Serves 4

Chervil’s aromatic sweetness perfectly matches that of cold shellfish. Try it with crab, or, as here, with prawns. Tarragon is an acceptable substitute.

• 1 1/2 pounds large uncooked prawns, shell on, or 1 1/4 pounds shelled uncooked prawns
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon anise liqueur such as Pernod, ouzo, or anisette
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh chervil
• 1 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh chives ­(optional)
• 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1. Rinse, shell if necessary, and devein the prawns. Set on the top rack of a ­steamer.

2. Place the water, bay leaf, and liqueur in the bottom of the steamer. Add the top section, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam the prawns for 2 to 4 minutes or until pink and just cooked through.

3. Transfer the prawns to a nonreactive bowl and strain the steaming liquid over them. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs, and toss gently. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

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