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Green and crunchy

Fruit in savoury dishes. A subject certain to elicit strong reactions. Be it the traumatic experience of eating my Mother’s chicken curry with bananas and raisins, a frequent occurrence in our household, and definitely not for the fussy or the faint-hearted, or the horror of discovering pineapple on your pizza, it can be the stuff of nightmares. However, as you grow older and culinary experiences abound, tastes change and we now have more options, more opportunities to discover interesting and subtler food combinations. For instance, mango, when not quite ripe, brings a little crunch to an Asian coleslaw or understated sweetness to a stir-fry. Blood oranges give asparagus and blue cheese salad an instant boost of freshness, a perfect balancing act. What about the humble Granny Smith, so green, so crunchy, and so perfectly sour? And by all accounts, one of the star ingredients of the summer salad I am about to share with you – quite understated but full of flavour. Tell me about your savoury fruit dishes – what’s your favourite? What was your first experience of a dish containing fruit? Pain or pleasure?

Granny Smith’s Prawn Salad
Adapted from a recipe from
Serves 4 as a starter and 2 as a light lunch


3 tarragon stems and 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/2 lemon, quartered
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
200g large prawns (you can use frozen)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 Granny Smith Apple, halved and thinly sliced*
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced*
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
* I use a mandolin for ease


In a saucepan, bring 750ml of water, tarragon stems, lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and peppercorns to the boil.

Remove from heat, add prawns and poach until opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes (more if frozen and raw). Transfer prawns to a plate and set aside to cool.

In a small jar, whisk together the oil, vinegar, chives, tarragon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Put lid on jar and shake well. In a large bowl, add prawns, apple and cucumber and avocado. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.