Readers' Recipe Swap: Seaside

 ,  |  Updated: July 27, 2013 10:18 IST

Readers' Recipe Swap: Seaside

This week, we asked to sample your seaside recipes - from sumptuous sundaes and seafood pasta to samphire frittatas.

Sea air makes everything taste better - which may explain the enduring popularity of pickled whelks and sickly, sticky rock. The recipes below, however, managed to impress on a hot afternoon in central London: a far greater achievement.

Simon Ragoonanan's silky rich seafood pasta is a worthy winner, but special mention must go to Mick Lee's Coke floats for adults: "Chocolate ice-cream (preferably Green & Blacks) in chocolate stout (Meantime's chocolate porter is absolutely peerless for this)." A combination that really can't fail to put a holiday smile on your face.

The winning recipe: linguine al gamberi

I first had this honeymooning on the Italian island of Ponza, a favourite Mediterranean getaway for Romans seeking respite from the capital's summer inferno. The rich prawn stock infuses this seemingly simple dish with the essence of the sea.
Simon Ragoonanan, Wellington, NZ

Serves 4, generously
Olive oil, for frying
1 shallot, finely chopped
1-6 garlic cloves (to taste), finely chopped
1-2 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
500g sweet cherry tomatoes, quartered
A glass of white wine (optional)
500g linguine
800g large raw prawns, shelled and deveined (retain heads and shells for stock)
2 lemons, zested and juiced
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the stock
Olive oil, to fry
A large glass of white wine
50g butter (optional)

1 Put a large saucepan on a medium heat, and fry the prawn heads and shells in a generous glug of olive oil. When pink, add the white wine. After a few minutes, add an equal amount of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Crush the heads and shells while you cook to release flavours. Top up with water, if necessary, add butter, if using, and season. Strain and keep the stock.

2 In a large wide pan, fry the shallot in a glug of olive oil on a medium heat. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and chilli. Cook for a few more minutes, then add the tomatoes and gently simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add a glass of white wine, if using, and gradually add the stock.

3 Cook the linguine in salted water - as salty as the Mediterranean, ideally - for a minute or 2 less than suggested. Add pasta water to the sauce if it gets too thick while the linguine cooks, 1 tbsp at a time. Keep a cup of water, then drain.

4 Add the prawns to the sauce and cook for couple of minutes.

5 Drain and stir in the linguine, add the lemon zest, season to taste, and cook for a couple of minutes until the pasta is al dente. Loosen the sauce with some pasta water, if necessary.

6 Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Cover for 5 minutes to let the pasta absorb the flavours.

7 Add the chopped parsley, and serve in warmed pasta bowls.


This very simple pizza-like recipe is cooked on some of the Cyclades islands and smells of Greek summer.
Laura Aggelou, Nea Artaki, Greece

Makes 4-6
For the base
300g white bread flour
7g dry yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

For the toppings
4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 onions, sliced
A handful of capers
A few sprigs of oregano
Olive oil

1 Place the flour in a bowl and add the rest of the base ingredients, plus enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let it rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 4.

2 Drizzle plenty of olive oil on the baking tray, stretch out the dough, and spread the toppings over it. Drizzle with plenty more oil.

3 Bake for 40-45 minutes.

An indulgent ice-cream sundae

One of my earliest memories is of my father taking me for an ice-cream sundae on holiday in Skegness. Sadly, he died a few weeks ago, at the grand old age of 82, eating ice-cream and cake to the end. This is full of things he loved - chocolate cookies, vanilla ice-cream, berries and a Crunchie bar! Marmaduke Scarlet;

Serves 4
100g mixed berries, sliced, leaving a few whole to serve
8 scoops of good-quality vanilla ice-cream
4 good-quality triple-chocolate cookies, roughly crumbled
2 Crunchie bars, frozen and then crushed
4 chocolate cream wafer rolls, to serve

For the berry coulis
200g raspberries
200g strawberries, hulled, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice only
75g vanilla caster sugar
1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 First make the coulis by heating the berries in a saucepan with the lemon juice for about 5 minutes, until they start to break down. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the basil leaves and set aside to cool a little, then blend until smooth (add a splash of water if too thick). Sieve to remove the pips and set aside to cool.

2 Assemble with a layer of coulis at the bottom of a tall glass, followed by a layer of sliced berries. Add crumbled chocolate cookie, followed by some crushed Crunchie and a couple of scoops of ice-cream. Top with more crushed Crunchie.

3 Serve topped with a few whole berries and the wafers.

Dad's beer-battered fish and chips

From our "Year of what we ate" cookbook, a gift for our daughter as she starts her life away from home, this recipe takes us back to the great fish and chips we once ate in Blackpool.
Spudedwards, via

Serves 4
120ml pale ale
110g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
110g cod or haddock per person
Vegetable oil, to deep fry

1 Whisk the beer, flour and salt to a nice batter consistency. Leave to settle for 10 minutes.

2 Cut the fish into 10cm x 3cm x 3cm pieces and pat dry with kitchen towel.

3 Fill a deep saucepan one-third full (no more!) with vegetable oil. Heat until a small piece of bread sizzles in it.

4 Coat each fish piece in batter, shake off excess and gently put in the oil.

5 Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the fish, lay on kitchen towel to absorb the oil and then transfer to a plate.

6 Serve with peas, chips and a dollop of tartare sauce.

Coconut ice

Coconut ice is pretty, sweet and simple to make, with or without the assistance of kids on summer holidays. Tastes great cold from the fridge.
Bronwyn Wolfe, London

Makes 24
A little vegetable oil, to grease
400g icing sugar
400g desiccated coconut
400g tin condensed milk
A couple of drops of pink food colouring

1 Line a rectangular baking tray, about 28cm x 18cm, with clingfilm, making sure there will be enough to fold back over itself before the tray goes in the fridge. Grease lightly with oil.

2 Mix the sugar, coconut and condensed milk together, put half into the lined baking tray and pack down firmly to make an even layer.

3 Add the food colouring to the other half and blend to an even colour. Put the pink mixture on top of the white and press it down to make a neat layer. Fold the overhanging clingfilm over the top and refrigerate until set.

4 Turn the coconut ice out of the tin, and cut into little squares.

Samphire frittata

Samphire is a succulent coastal plant with a fibrous interior. You steam or boil it until the flesh can be pulled or sucked off the stringy centre - about 5-8 minutes.
Flossi Challands, Norfolk

Serves 4
6 eggs
Black pepper, to taste
500g samphire, boiled and stripped
A handful of grated or crumbled cheese: use a melting variety such as goat, taleggio or feta for inside, or parmesan sprinkled on top
1 tbsp olive oil

1 Lightly whisk the eggs, 2 tbsp water and pepper in a large bowl. Add the stripped samphire and the cheese, if it's going inside.

2 Preheat the grill. Gently heat the oil in a nonstick medium frying pan, then add the egg mixture and cook covered on a low heat until the top has just set. Add the grated parmesan if you are going for the topping option.

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3 Finish off under the grill till the top is golden and gently sizzling. Eat tepid.

Prawn linguine: the winning dish. Photograph: Anna Gordon for the Guardian



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