Crayfish summer salad

by Lauraine Jacobs | Cuisine issue #113
Serves: 6I always treat crayfish - the richest of all seafood, I think - as a real treat.

Served like this, with refreshing cucumber and chunks of papaya and avocado, it makes a simple and elegant starter for festive occasions that can be prepared ahead.

1.5kg-2kg freshly cooked crayfish (bought)
1 large papaya
1 avocado
1 small cucumber
1/2 red onion, sliced paper-thin
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed

For the dressing
large bunch flat-leafed parsley (around 1 cup when chopped)
juice and grated zest of 2 limes
1/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove all the meat from the crayfish tail and legs, and cut the tail flesh into 5cm chunks.

Cut the papaya in half, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into 3cm chunks. Peel the avocado, remove the stone and cut the flesh into 3cm chunks. Peel the cucumber and cut into 6cm-long batons. Toss the papaya, avocado, cucumber and onion together in a bowl and set aside.

Slice the spinach leaves very finely to make a chiffonade.

For the dressing, mix the parsley, lime juice and zest, olive oil and seasoning together in a screw-top jar, shaking to combine well.

To assemble, divide the baby spinach among 6 plates. Scatter the papaya salad around each dish and top with equal portions of crayfish. Spoon the dressing over each serving and serve at once.

Wine - I think it calls for a blanc de blancs methode traditionnelle (a bubbly wine made with Chardonnay grapes) to truly make it a celebration.

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