Signe Johansen’s barbecued or grilled prawns with tarragon tartare sauce

Seafood is king during summertime in Scandinavia. People are not inclined to spend hours preparing and cooking elaborate dishes when it’s warm outside; after all, summers are so short in the region and everyone needs to top up their vitamin D. This is a superb dish, one that easily scales up to feed a crowd.

barbecued prawns with tarragon
Ali Allen


1kg fresh shell-on tiger prawns
olive oil
lemon wedges, to serve


100g crème fraîche
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
2 tarragon stems, leaves picked and finely chopped
small bunch of dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped gherkins
1 tbsp chopped capers

1. Begin by making the sauce. Mix the crème fraîche together with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, the herbs, gherkins and capers. Taste, adjusting the lemon juice and herbs according to preference, then season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.

2. Soak several bamboo skewers in water, ensuring they are completely covered, for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the barbecue.

3. Meanwhile, remove the shells and heads from the prawns but keep the tails. Devein the prawns and thread them on to the skewers, about 4-5 prawns on each.

4. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat the barbecue or griddle pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until pink and cooked through. Serve the barbecued or grilled prawns immediately with lemon wedges and the tartare sauce for dipping.

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smorgasbord cookbook

All these tasty recipes are from Smörgåsbord: Deliciously Simple Modern Scandinavian Recipes  by Peter’s Yard with Signe Johansen, published by Kyle Books, price £18.99 ( You can order a copy for £11.39 until 12 July at Enter the code YOUSMORG at the checkout. Book number: 9780857837776. For terms and conditions, go to