Prawn, Fennel and Grapefruit Salad

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You may have noticed that all of my recent recipes have been an attempt to keep the summer alive and, as we’re predicted to have a really warm September, I guess I better keep them coming! This one is fantastic – low calorie, high in vitamins and protein and bursting with flavor.

The thing is, autumn is actually my favorite season. I’m actually looking forward to slowing down – both in cooking and in life – and snuggling up with a good book and a bowl of something warm and comforting. Summer is all well and good, but contrary to popular opinion, I couldn’t handle it all year long. Bring on the coats and scarves, ankle boots and knitwear, slow-cooked stews and roasted vegetables, barley and home made bread. All of these things mean autumn to me, and I just can’t wait.

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This may seem in contrast to my recent posts and their claims of extending that summer feeling, but in actuality I was only doing those things because I thought autumn was imminent; that the vegetables that litter our markets now would soon cease to be available; that gorgeous, ripe fruit would be replaced with undernourished rocks painted to look like fruit – yes, peaches, I’m talking about you. Now, it looks like we may have to wait an whole other month for it. Boo.

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In any case, this salad is terrific in summer, but in fact it would be terrific in any season because it just is terrific. I’m sure you could make adjustments as the seasons ebb and flow to make it more ‘seasonal’, but for now it’s just right.

Slightly bitter, tart grapefruit sings in each bite along sweet, plump shrimp and fresh, liquorice-y fennel. Leaving your mouth after each bite invigorated and begging for more. A handful of peppery rocket boosts the satisfaction levels for a main meal, or leave it out for a light, but impressive starter.

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So whether you’re hanging on to summer by it’s coattails, or beckoning for autumn to blow in, try out this salad and remember why the fruits and vegetables of summer fill us with such a vigor for life.

Bon appetit!

Recipe adapted from Olive magazine March 2012

Serves 4 as a starter

225g peeled, cooked large prawns

1 Grapefruit, peeled and cut into suprêmes, pulp and juice reserved

1 Fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 bunch Parsley, finely chopped

1 Red Chilli, finely chopped

1-2 cloves Garlic, minced

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

White Balsamic or White Wine Vinegar, to taste

Salt and Pepper

1. Mix the fennel and grapefruit suprêmes together in a bowl and leave to one side.

2. In a separate bowl combine parsley, garlic, chilli, grapefruit juice squeezed from the pulp, about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, a splash of vinegar if needed and salt and pepper and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

3. Toss everything together and serve over a bed of rocket or on its own.

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