Ipanema-inspired Prawns and Bacon with Strong Celery-garlic Sauce

When I was in Rio recently I was invited to dinner at a flat with a stunning view directly overlooking Ipanema beach and a magnificent spread of dips and flatbreads to fortify us as we admired it.

The Saucy Dressings’ Chief Taster developed an immediate and intense admiration for the celery and garlic dip. The combination certainly worked…. and after more investigation of my own (trying it again… and again…) I thought it would also be perfect with prawns.

I tried it and it does. It has a pungent, but fresh taste. You need some good spongy flatbread or naan to soak up the remaining sauce. Serve with napkins as you’ll be licking your fingers.

This makes an excellent lunch for two people, neither of whom is planning to go out to a meeting in the afternoon! It would also make a notable starter for four. If you make the sauce ahead of time you may find it goes a bit watery – just stir up again, or add a bit more blue cheese.


Recipe for prawns and bacon with strong celery-garlic sauce


prawn and bacon recipe
You need the bread to soak up the sauce

For two for lunch, or four as a starter.


For the sauce:

  • 2 sticks of celery (save the leaves), de-strung
  • 3 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt
  • 2 cloves (or one fat clove) garlic
  • 2 oz/60g mild blue cheese – I used Yorkshire Blue

NB NO seasoning


For the prawns:

  • 150g/6 oz cooked prawns
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon


  • 1 round – approx. 130g/5 oz – naan or spongy flatbread


  1. prawn and bacon starter
    blend/chop the celery and garlic to about this level of roughness

    In a blender (or you could do this by hand if necessary by chopping very fine) blend the de-strung celery sticks with the garlic.

  2. Mix in the yoghurt and crumble in the blue cheese.
  3. Put your bread in the oven – follow the instructions on the packet, but it usually takes about eight minutes from chilled to twelve from frozen.
  4. Fry the bacon on both sides until crispy, and a couple of minutes before the bacon looks as if it might be ready, it usually takes about five or six minutes, add the prawns.
  5. Cut the bacon into small pieces
  6. Reserve a few of the bacon bits and prawns for garnish.
  7. Divide the rest of the prawns and bacon between two plates, top with the sauce, and garnish with some shredded celery leaves and the reserved prawns and bacon bits.


This post is dedicated to Fatima Ferreira

prawn and bacon recipe
Ipanema beach… in the winter…


And what else to listen to as you cook this than the classic….. Girl From Ipanema


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJkxFhFRFDA]


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