Black bean salad with prawns and pickled onion

Ingredients to serve 4

180ml distilled white vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 bay leaf

10 whole black peppercorns

3 juniper berries

One eighth of a teaspoon fine sea salt

One eighth of a teaspoon chilli flakes

One eighth of a teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large red onion, thinly sliced crossways and separated into rings

2 x 425g tins black beans, rinsed and drained

2 spring onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons finely chopped coriander, plus more for garnish (optional)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Fine sea salt

16 large prawns, peeled and deveined

1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced

100g feta cheese

Although I'm generally an advocate of cooking with dried beans and legumes – which are easy to cook, but require extra time for soaking and boiling – I've found that good-quality tinned beans work well here.

Place all of the pickled onion ingredients, except the onion, in a medium heavy-based frying pan and bring to the boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the onion, reduce to a simmer and cook, gently stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.

In a large serving bowl, stir together the beans, spring onions, coriander, 4 tablespoons of oil, the lime juice and quarter of a teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the prawns and a generous pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the prawns are cooked through. Transfer to the serving bowl and toss.

Crumble the cheese over the salad and sprinkle with extra coriander, if desired. Remove the pickled onions from their pickling liquid and serve on the side.

Taken from 'The Perfectly Tossed Salad' by Mindy Fox (Kyle Books, £15.99)

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