Sandwich or salad? Why not go for a hybrid version of these two casual lunch classics. This Mediterranean summer toast is my pick for a quick lunch on a sunny day. It is one of those incredibly satisfying meals – delicious AND healthy.
I was inspired by a recipe by Professor David Khayat, a famous French oncologist. In his book, “Les Recettes gourmandes du Vrai Régime anticancer” (“The gourmet recipes of the real anticancer diet”), he lists the benefits of a number of “super” foods and suggests several yummy recipes. The book has been a success in France, but unfortunately has yet to be translated into English. The health benefits of the ingredients used in this recipe are listed in the “Did you know?” section below.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
- 12 cooked Tiger prawns
- 4 slices of bread
- 1 large avocado
- 2 handful of rocket leaves
- 2 baby fennel
- 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 anchovies, finely chopped
- 90 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml of lemon juice (half a lemon)
Step 1 – Peel the prawns: Peel the prawns and remove the intestinal tract. Set prawns aside.
Step 2 – Prepare the rocket: Wash the rocket thoroughly and drain well using a colander or a salad spinner*. Set aside.
Step 3 – Prepare the fennel: Cut the top and bottom of the fennel bulb. Remove the outer layer, cut in half, and wash thoroughly. Slice thinly and set aside.
Step 4 – Prepare the avocado: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit*. Run a tablespoon between the avocado flesh and its skin to peel the whole half-avocado in one go as per the picture below:Place the avocado on a chopping board and slice.
Step 5 – Prepare the dressing: Mix 90 ml of extra virgin olive oil with 30 ml of lemon juice, half a pinch of cayenne pepper, 3 finely chopped anchovies, and half a clove of finely chopped garlic.
Step 6 – Toast the bread: Cut 4 slices of bread and toast. The type of bread is entirely up to you. For this recipe, I fancy Italian types such a ciabatta or pane di casa, but multigrain bread would be a healthier alternative.
Step 7 – Plate: Place the toasts on large plates, add a few slices of avocado, a few prawns, a handful of fennel and a handful of rocket leaves. Dress and serve immediately.
Mix & Match
You could replace the rocket leaves by baby spinach leaves, the fennel by thinly sliced celery and the lemon juice by lime juice. And why not add olives, sun-dried tomatoes or capers as per the original recipe? May I also suggest herbs such as dill or chives? Table salt could, of course, be a substitute for anchovies.
A Champagne or other sparkling wine, a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chablis or a Rosé de Provence.
*Did you Know?
- Prawns are lean and are not known to be contaminated by heavy metals, unlike other seafood.
- Rocket contains flavonoids and particularly quercetin, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties. It also contains carotenoids which have antioxidant proprieties.
- Fennel is a source of fiber and vitamin B9, and has very little calories.
- Avocado is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins of the B group.
- Bread, particularly multigrain, is rich in fibre.
- Anchovies are rich in copper and selenium, a well-known antioxidant.
- Garlic is rich in manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, as well as vitamins B6 and C. Pr. Khayat describes it as an extraordinary ingredient.
- Olive Oil contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids.
- It is critical to drain salad leaves properly or the water will prevent the dressing from adhering properly.
- A reliable manner to remove the pit from an avocado is to cut the avocado in half and strike the pit with the heel of a knife. Then twist gently to take it out.