PRAWN AND MELON SALAD
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds saved for garnish, divided
1 small leek, trimmed, white and light green part, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) coriander seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns
1 orange, zest and juice
1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
2½ cups (625 ml) water
salt, to taste
1½ lbs (750 g) prawns, shelled and deveined, tails intact
3 tbsp (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1½ cups (375 ml) each, cubed or balled cantaloupe and honeydew melon
1 small head frisée lettuce, tender inner leaves only
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated (optional)
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh chives
- Thinly slice 1 fennel bulb and place in a large saucepan. Add leek, garlic, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, orange zest and juice, wine, water and a couple pinches of salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer broth for 20 minutes.
- Add prawns to broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat until pink and curled, about 4 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and allow prawns to continue to marinate in warm broth for 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer prawns to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Strain broth and reserve 1 cup (250 ml).
- To make a dressing, place reserved broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Bring broth to a rolling boil and reduce to 2 tbsp (30 ml), about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt.
- Thinly slice remaining fennel bulb and add to a large bowl along with cantaloupe and honeydew melon, frisée and cooled prawns. Drizzle dressing over top and toss gently to combine.
- Line serving plates with a few leaves of butter lettuce, if using, before spooning salad over top. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds, chopped tarragon and chives and serve.