The finger lime 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
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned & thinly sliced
¼ cup garlic chives, finely chopped
2tbsp garlic chive or fennel flowers
¼ cup lime-infused extra virgin olive oil
4 finger limes
Place the marron in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are very cold but not yet frozen. Bring a large stock pot of water to the boil and put the marron quickly, placing the lid on the pot immediately, for 2 to 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 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 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 finger limes in halves crossways, squeeze to remove the caviar-like vesicles and scatter over the top to garnish.
Recipe by Sophie Zalokar and photo by Craig Kinder for Genuinely Southern Forests.