Prawn, Pink Peppercorn, Fennel and Citrus Salad
20 cooked king prawns, peeled and deveined (leave fan-shaped tail attached)
2 medium size bulbs fennel
recipe Citrus Fruit
4 fennel sprigs
Toss prawns in a little of dressing.
Slice fennel very, very thinly and toss with remaining dressing.
Spoon a little fennel onto each plate, top with some citrus segments, followed by some prawns. Repeat layers of fennel, citrus and prawns till you have a pretty pile. Drizzle with dressing from fennel bowl over top of each stack. Sprinkle with blanched orange zest and top with a feathery fennel sprig.
You can use any mixture of citrus fruit you like in this, at different times I've used ruby grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines and lemonade fruit…it works beautifully with any of them.
3 navel oranges (must be navels)
1 ruby grapefruit or 3-4 blood oranges (or other citrus fruit in season)
Remove zest from two oranges, making sure it’s free of any white pith that will make it bitter. Slice into very, very fine slivers. Put zest into pot of boiling water and blanch for two minutes, then tip into a sieve to drain.
Peel all fruit over a bowl, to catch drips, so no white pith remains. With a sharp knife cut down between membranes to release segments into bowl. Cover and keep cool.
(yields approximately 370ml)
125ml (1/2 cup) fresh orange juice
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp light soy sauce
30ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp sesame oil
125ml (1/2 cup) light olive oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp pink peppercorns
salt and freshly ground black pepper ( to taste)
45ml-60ml (3-4 tbsp) strained fresh orange juice extra, or more to taste
Bring orange juice to the boil in a very small pan and let it bubble away till only a couple of tbsp of concentrated juice is left (watch it because it can catch at the end.) Whisk together remaining dressing ingredients then stir in hot juice. Taste it and add a little more salt if it needs it. (It should have a really good sweet sour balance so quite often at this stage I might add a little more fresh orange juice or lemon. Taste it and see what it needs.)
* There's quite a lot of confusion with peppercorns. Real peppercorns grow on a vine but these pink ones are not true peppercorns and actually grow on a tree. The tree has tiny little fruit that dry to make what we call pink pepper. They have a warm, fresh flavour and beautiful pink colour when they are dried and go particularly well with seafood.