I never take for granted the array of fresh seafood we have available in New Zealand, especially when it's caught and eaten in the same day!
This summer it's been a joy to see holidaymakers gathering kina and shellfish at the beach, fishing off the rocks or out in boats of all shapes and sizes. Fighting a large kahawai, pulling in a snapper or kingfish, diving for crayfish and scallops ... there's nothing quite like it.
I love to eat fish raw with soy sauce and wasabi. Another favourite is to simply dip it in egg, fry quickly with a little butter and serve with fresh salad and hot bread. And, I can't go past home-made fish and chips - a great way to feed a crowd and so much better than the bought ones.
This summer we've been lucky enough to have scallops straight from the ocean. Large, juicy and bright in colour, they are absolutely delicious. Here, I toss them very quickly with fennel to create a delicious warm salad.
Whether you're simply wrapping your scallops in bacon and barbecuing, or cooking them in their open half shells with an Asian herb butter, be careful not to overcook them. And no matter how you eat them, a squeeze of lemon is essential.
Next up, caramelised walnuts with prawns - hot, sticky and delicious. This meal requires eating with your fingers, and you can't help but let the juices run down your chin.
Eighty per cent of the flavour is in the prawn shells, so sucking and slurping is part of the experience. The recipe may sound fiddly but, it is truly worth the effort. The walnuts can be caramelised a day or two in advance and stored in an airtight container.
You can use any type of white fish for the final dish. I love that it is so quick and simple and a great way to use other seasonal vegetables. You could toss through some zucchini as well for a little extra colour.
The combination of capers and lemon is a natural choice for fresh fish. Serve this with warm crusty bread and green salad with lots of fresh tomatoes and avocado.
• Fennel and scallop salad