Every seafood-eating culture has a spicy prawn dish, and the Portuguese are no different. However, this is a simple dish that will please everyone, and can easily be done indoors in an oven or outdoors on the barbecue.
Using sharp kitchen shears, butterfly the prawns on the backside, making sure to keep the heads intact. Devein, if necessary.
Remove the root end of the garlic cloves, smash and peel. Roughly chop.
If desired, split the chillies in half, scrape out the spongy ribs and seeds, then slice. Otherwise, simply cut into whole slices.
Zest and juice the lemons, keeping both separate.
Pick the leaves from the parsley stalks, and chop.
Drizzle the prawns liberally with olive oil, add the garlic, chillies, lemon zest and salt. Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight.
Quarter the plum tomatoes, remove the woody tail, and chop into dice.
Pick through the rocket.
Pit the olives if necessary.
Toss the rocket, tomatoes and olives and mound on a serving platter or on individual plates.
Preheat the grill to 200'C, and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Remove the prawn from the marinade, and set aside.
In a large wide pan, gently warm the garlic in the olive oil until it becomes golden and smells similar to popcorn, and remove from the heat. Set aside.
At this point, the prawns can be grilled on a barbecue, or if cooking indoors, return the prawns to the olive oil marinade, and place in the oven for about 8-10, or until they turn opaque with a few charred spots.
Remove from the oven and finish with the lemon juice, and parsley.
Top the salad with the prawns and drizzle with the garliky oil.
Serve with crusty bread.
«For a more convival dish, the prawns can be served in the pan and topped with the salad.»