Mariana guides me to a market in Salvador where you can find the best selection of raw ingredients, the Feira de Sao Joaquim. The market takes place every day in Salvador's lower city and was established in 1960. It is the biggest free market in Salvador boasting the best local products coming from all over the state.
Mariana walks me thru the market and takes me to try a few of the most used ingredients in this region. I tried cashew fruit, the nut is actually above the fruit, you would never believe it was from the same plant. Okra called quiabo in Brazil, is used in some of the most traditional dishes and dried smoked shrimps are an absolute local delicacy. And lastly, palm oil is the base of many Bahian dishes and it is often used to fry or flavour stews, giving them their authentic orange colour.
Well, there was certainly no shortage of inspiration in the market in Salvador and just being around this fantastic produce has inspired this dish - Pineapple, Prawn & Okra Salad.
My Pineapple, Prawn and Okra Salad
- 1 large pineapple
- 100g bulgur wheat
- 200ml hot chicken stock
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 125g okra, trimmed
- 125ml dry white wine
- Juice of 1 lime
- Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- Small bunch basil, finely chopped
- Small bunch coriander, chopped
- 150g raw tiger prawns shelled and deveined
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 50g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Preheat your oven to 200C or 400F.
Cut the pineapple in half lengthways, cut out the core and discard. Scoop out most of the flesh, leaving some inside, then cut into small dice and drain off any excess juice.
Put the pineapple halves onto a baking tray, cut side up, and roast for 10 minutes until softened. Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil, pour over the bulgar wheat and cover with clingfilm.
Leave to stand for 15 minutes then remove the cling film and fluff the grains with a fork. While the bulgar wheat is soaking, heat a little olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat gently for 5 minutes until soft. Increase the heat, add the okra and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Add the prawns, cook quickly until just pink then remove from the heat.
Stir in the pineapple, bulgar wheat, lime juice and herbs then divide the mixture between the pineapple halves. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place under a hot grill for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Leave to cool for a minute before serving.