Crayfish, Avocado, Grapefruit and Ginger Salad

With Wild Rocket and Chive Dressing

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

Appears in

Salads

Salads

By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

Like lobster, crayfish are so luxurious that it’s good to eat them only occasionally. However, I can well remember the times as a child that Dad would go cray fishing with his mates and come home from Ngawi (almost the southernmost point in New Zealand’s North Island) with 20–30 crayfish. We’d all gorge ourselves stupid, then take a week’s break from them as they are really quite a rich meat.

You can cook them yourself, or buy pre-cooked crays or lobsters, which will be easier – but you do need to make sure you’re buying something that was ideally cooked that morning and not a week before. To cook a crayfish. If you can’t get a hold of crayfish or lobster, then use cooked prawns instead – allow about 180g cooked weight per person.

Ingredients

  • 1 thumb-sized piece of very fresh and young ginger (if the skin is too dark and dry you’d be better using ready-pickled sushi ginger, also called gari, from Japanese shops)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or use 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (or use 2 tablespoons caster sugar)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large grapefruit, segmented, all juice reserved
  • 3 avocados
  • large handful of wild rocket
  • 4 crayfish or lobster, each about 400 g, cooked and the flesh removed

For the Chive Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

Method

Thinly slice the ginger using a mandolin grater or a very sharp knife, then cut the slices into fine julienne strips. Mix with the lime juice, mirin and two pinches of salt, and leave to cure for 10 minutes, when it will pinken a little and loose its raw edge.

Segment the grapefruit and add any juices that drip off them to the ginger. Place the segments in a small bowl. Cut the avocados in half, twist out the stone and scoop out the flesh in one piece with a large spoon, then cut it into fat wedges.

To make the chive dressing, mix the chives with the oils and season with a little black pepper.

To Serve

Divide the rocket and avocado between 4 plates and lay the crayfish meat on top, then scatter with the grapefruit segments and the ginger and its juices. Drizzle the chive dressing on last of all, mixing it as you do so.