Portrait of a recipe

We chose to kick off our 1970s menu with Richard Glover and Debra Oswald with a prawn avocado and fennel cocktail, because it was the universal starter at restaurants around the world during the decade. Its popularity proved its downfall and these days, it is considered incredibly retro, despite being a wonderful classic dish.

According to the website loveFood, the prawn cocktail owes its origins to a 19th century miner in California.

“Legend has it that after a successful day prospecting, a miner took his gold nuggets to a bar in San Francisco. He ordered a whisky and a plate of oysters. After knocking back the booze, the miner tipped his oysters in to the empty glass, doused them with vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, ketchup and horseradish and sucked them down.

“Astonished, the restaurant owner asked: “What sort of mess do you call that?” With aplomb the miner replied: “This is what I call an oyster cocktail.”

“The next day a sign appeared in the restaurant’s window advertising Oyster Cocktails. Four Bits A Glass. Within weeks every café and bar on the West Coast was selling glasses of seafood cocktail.”

We chose our recipe because it included avocado as a nod to Richard’s The Land Before Avocado, and it was Kate’s mother’s.

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) Masterfoods Tomato Sauce

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) thin cream

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 fennel bulb

  • 4 avocados

  • 20 cooked prawns

  • 3 spring onions

  • Fresh greens from the garden


First make the sauce from the sauce ingredients.

In a bowl, toss all the salad ingredients, with half of the dressing.

Scatter the green leaves into 4 small bowls, pile the salad into the centre, then drizzle with the remaining dressing just before serving.

Drink with champagne.

Image Credit: Gaetan Selle