Autumn seems to have come suddenly this year. Our lovely, unexpected Indian summer has made the sudden shortening of the days rather startling, and I was dismayed to wake up at my standard 6.30am last week to see darkness outside instead of the bright dawns to which I have become accustomed. I don’t know why, but this surprises me every year, and I can’t quite remember how I got through the darker days last time around. Although I’m generally cheered by the inevitable slide into autumnal crumbles and stews, I felt like having one last go at a bright and sunshiney recipe before succumbing. And here it is.

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In case you missed my last blog post, I’ll explain that I am collaborating with Savse, who make delicious smoothies packed full of healthy treats. I’ve tried lots of their range over the past couple of weeks, and this Super Orange smoothie is one of my favourites. It’s got a great balance of sweetness from mango and sharpness from citrus, undercut by the earthiness of carrots. I thought this sunshine drink would be great in a loosely Mexican-inspired dish, with fresh fish, creamy avocados, bright limes, punchy red chillies, and plenty of coriander.

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The sweetness of the smoothie is a great partner to the spicy chilli in this dish, and it’s wonderful with the flavours of coriander and lime. I keep glancing out of the window as I write this, and although the temperature has started to drop, everything’s still wildly green and the sky is bright and clear. This is the perfect light meal for these last days of sunshine, or a great healthy pick-me-up for when it gets grey.

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Notes: You can use whatever grains you like here – I used a mixture of brown rice and quinoa because it was what I had on hand, but either of those alone would do, as would something like freekeh.

The quantities here feed two people, but the dish can easily be scaled up for a crowd and served as a sharing platter.

Ingredients:

150g quinoa (or whatever grain you like)
1 ripe avocado

for the prawns

1/2 250ml bottle Savse Super Orange
1 clove garlic, crushed
180g raw prawns

for the mango salsa

1 small mango
1 small red chilli, de-seeded
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
juice 1/2 lime
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

for the dressing

1/2 250ml bottle Savse Super Orange
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
juice 1/2 lime
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

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Method:

  1. At least an hour before you want to eat, prep your prawns by removing their shells and digestive tracts, then put them in a bowl with your smoothie and garlic. Mix, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. When you’re ready to start preparing the rest of the dish, put your quinoa on to cook according to pack instructions – it should take around 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, heat a griddle pan with a glug of oil until it’s just smoking. Halve, peel, and de-stone your avocado, season, and then grill for about 1 minute per side, or until you have char-marks. Remove from pan, slice, and set aside.
  3. To make your salsa, peel and dice your mango, de-seed and dice your chilli, chop your coriander (chop the whole bunch because you need the rest for the dressing), juice your lime, and mix all these things together with the oil. Season to taste.
  4. To make your dressing, simply combine all your ingredients. I find the easiest way to do this is to put them all in a tupperware container or jar with a lid and shake. Taste and season. Drain your quinoa well, then mix in the dressing.
  5. To cook your prawns, remove from the marinade and season. Wipe out and reheat your grill pan with some new oil. When it’s just smoking, grill your prawns until gently charred on the outside and warm, pink, and opaque all the way through. Serve your quinoa topped with the avocado, mango salsa, and prawns.