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Prawn, Fennel and Ruby Grapefruit Salad.

Prawn Fennel Grapefruit Salad

Origin: This was the starter I found for our family Christmas menu last year, and everyone agreed it was one recipe that should be saved and used another time. It is a fresh, summery and zingy idea you should try for a lunch time pool-party or as a starter for any special occasion. 

Most South African families opt for a cold Christmas menu as our temperatures in December can reach in the higher 30’s and it does not make sense to slave over hot oven and coals when the rest of the family is frolicking in the pool.

All 25 members of our family take this option to the vote each year however my dad, who has held Chairman Position as Father Christmas for over 40 years, has earned the right to overturn any outcome of the vote. We are yet to have a cold lunch! As he says we have lovely cold lunches every Sunday around the pool! This is Christmas, so go the extra mile even if it creates alittle sweat.

Thank goodness as I am with him! There is nothing more heart-warming than having the smell of roasting turkey and glazing gammon waft through our home for the entire morning, while listening to Boney M sing Christmas Carols in the background. Sweltering heat or not!

This recipe I adapted from one of Sophie Grigson’s that  I tore out of a magazine while planning my Christmas table.

Prawn, Fennel and Ruby Grapefruit Salad.  (Serves 8 )

1 kg peeled, deveined and steamed large prawns (5-6 per person)

2 ruby grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 ½ cups of finely shredded white cabbage

1 cup of finely shredded fennel bulbs

1 cup of shredded gem lettuce (have used wild rocket as an alternative)


1 ½ cups of creamy mayonnaise (Hellman’s)

2 cloves finely crushed garlic

4 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander

3 Tablespoons apricot jam

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 -2 finely chopped and seeded red chillies

Melba toast:

8 slices of stale white bread

Garlic butter

Fresh thyme


  1.  Pre-heat your oven to 180 oC.
  2. Cut the crusts off the bread and cut each slice into two triangles.
  3. Add about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves to your garlic butter, and butter both sides of the bread.
  4. Place on one of the oven racks and bake until dry and crispy. (Watch continually as the time it takes will depend on how thin your bread is. +- 10 – 15 minutes)
  5. Cool and keep in an airtight container until required.



  1.  Make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. In a bowl mix the fennel, cabbage and lettuce and refrigerated until needed.
  3. Segment the grapefruit and cut into bite size pieces.
  4. Just before serving mix the prawns into the dressing mixture and add a handful of the green salad mix.
  5. Using the remainder of the salad mix, divide this up into your individual serving dishes or on the base of a platter if you are going to serve as one salad.
  6. Gently spoon the prawn and dressing over the salad, and garnish with a few wedges of fresh lemon and a few pieces of thinly sliced red chilli.
  7. Serve with home-made Melba toast.

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