This will be my starter course for Tandy’s ‘Come Dine With Me’ challenge. It’s a dish that my friends always enjoy. I was going to do something more adventurous, but as my main course will be quite challenging, I thought I would stick with what I know for the starter.

It is actually three salads in one and all three can be prepared the day before, kept in the fridge and tossed together just before serving.


4 avocados

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper to taste

Blend into a smooth mixture and refrigerate in an airtight container.



2 cucumbers, shaved into wide ribbons (use a potato peeler) excluding seeds

1 tablespoon caster sugar

2 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar

1 green chilli, finely chopped

Mix caster sugar into vinegar until dissolved, add chillis and pour over cucumbers.

Refrigerate in an airtight container.


1kg cleaned and steamed prawns

2 mandarins, peeled and chopped


Salt & pepper

2 red chillis, thinly sliced

½ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of mandarin juice, blitzed with the pulp of 1 mandarin

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon minced ginger

Gently mix all ingredients and refrigerate in an airtight container.


To serve: On a large platter, place a layer of leafy greens; (basil, coriander, baby spinach and dill, etc) dot with the cucumber ribbons, the guacamole and then the prawns. Toss to mix at the table before serving.

(For a more elegant event, serve in individual cocktail glasses.)

Serves 8.