Salad of king prawns, asparagus and peas
A summer favourite, asparagus and tomatoes fully in season mixed with shellfish. If you feel like spoiling the crowd, add lobster.
Photo: William Meppem
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- 2 bunches green asparagus
- 2 bunches white asparagus
- 500g fresh peas, podded
- 200ml olive oil, for frying
- 300g day-old sourdough, crusts removed and roughly torn into chunks
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml red wine vinegar (I like Forum)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 large cooked king prawns, heads and shells removed, de-veined and tails intact
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 baby cos lettuces, leaves separated
- 1/2 bunch basil, torn
Snap the ends off the green and white asparagus. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Blanch the green asparagus for 4-5 minutes, or until tender and sweet. Refresh in iced water. Repeat the process with the white asparagus, but blanch for 10 minutes or until tender, and then refresh. Slice each spear in half on the diagonal and set aside.
Blanch the peas for 5 minutes, then refresh in iced water. Set aside. Heat the 200ml olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the torn bread, stirring, until it is golden. Lift the bread out of the pan and drain on paper towels.
To make the dressing, whisk the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fried bread to the dressing and toss well, allowing the bread to soak up some of the dressing.
In a separate large bowl, combine the prawns, cooked asparagus and peas, cherry tomatoes, cos and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing and bread, toss well and transfer to a large serving plate. Finish with a grind of pepper.