Native to the coastal rainforests of Queensland and New South Wales and enjoyed by early colonists, fingerlimes look a little like a small pickled cucumber in shape growing up to 12 cm long with a slight curve and textured skin colour varying from dark mahogany brown and green through to rosy pink. When cut across, five or six longitudinal segments yield hundreds of compressed little beads (sometimes referred to as crystals) that burst with deliciously sweet yet acidic juice that have a similar appearance to caviar. These beads are the jewels of this refreshingly light dish, providing the crunch and acid needed to balance the creamy avocado and sweet marron. This dish doesn’t benefit from sitting around too long so prepare just before serving.
4 x 150 – 200g whole live marron or lobster
1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned & thinly sliced
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup lime-infused or plain, extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
¼ cup garlic or regular chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic chive or fennel flowers (optional)
- Place the marron in the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes, until they are very cold and ‘sleepy’. Bring a large stock pot of water to the boil and put the marron in quickly, placing the lid on the pot immediately; for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Drain and plunge the marron immediately into ice cold water.
- To remove the shell, twist the head off the body and discard. Hold the marron tail end in one hand with the underside facing upwards and using a kitchen scissors, cut down the middle of the soft, ridged shell from the top to the end of the tail.
- Using two hands, open the shell from cut side, releasing the marron flesh, which will still be partially raw. Carefully cut down the middle of the top side of the marron flesh and remove the alimentary canal.
- Rinse under cold water.
- Slice the marron flesh into thin slices and place on a ceramic or glass platter.
- Pour over the lime juice and sprinkle over a little sea salt flakes. Leave for 1 hour.
- To serve, divide and layer the marron and avocado onto four plates. Drizzle over a little of the lime juice remaining on the platter.
- Scatter over the chopped garlic chives and flowers and then drizzle with the lime-infused olive oil.
- Cut the fingerlimes in halves crossways, squeeze to remove the caviar-like vesicles and scatter over the top to garnish.