Continuing my campaign for quick food for December, this is a very quick, pretty much store cupboard, meal of prawns and fennel, bulked out with chickpeas.


For the best ways (quick, slow etc) to defrost prawns, follow this link.


Recipe for pronto prawns with fennel and chickpeas

Serves 4


  • 1 head of fennel – reserve fronds for garnish
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed with smoked salt
  • 1 tsp Spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 bunch parsley, coriander or spinach… or a mixture of all, roughly chopped to make them easy to eat
  • 200g/8 oz cooked, peeled and frozen prawns
  • 1 tin (240g/8 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tin (400g/14 oz) tomatoes (ideally Lidl whole ones, on the other hand anyone’s chopped would give a less good flavour but be even quicker)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar – the better quality the better
  • 1 tbsp red martini
  • optional extra ingredient – sliced chorizo


  1. Take the prawns out of the freezer.
  2. Slice and fry the fennel and red onion (and the chorizo if you are using it) for about five minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and the paprika, continue to fry for another minute or so. The paprika should start to smell heavenly.
  4. Add the tomatoes, the vinegar, and the red martini, bubble away for another five minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas, and get them hot.
  6. At the last minute add the prawns – get them hot but don’t cook any longer otherwise they become tough
  7. At the even more last minute stir in the green leaves.
    … and just at the end, garnish with the reserved fronds of the fennel.