Monday, 12 April 2010
Red mullet, aubergine caviar and roast tomatoes
Red mullet is one of my favourite fish, aubergine is probably my favourite vegetable. Here's a recipe combing the two - with just the addition of some basil and a few roasted cherry tomatoes.
If you wanted to make this dish more fancy you could include some roast baby aubergines, a drizzle of black olive dressing (blitzed black olives, splash of EV olive oil and of good balsamic) and few micro herbs and if your going all out.
Ingredients (about right for a lunch / starter for 2):
1 medium sized red mullet, cleaned, filleted and pin-boned
1 medium aubergine
handful of baby plum / cherry tomatoes, ideally mixed colour (red, orange, yellow)
few cloves of garlic
sprig of rosemary
sprig of thyme - optional
bunch of basil
pinch dried chilli flakes
EV olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Cut the aubergine in half lengthwise, score in lattice fashion quite deep (see pic) then push garlic slices and rosemary needles into the cuts. Sprinkle the cut face with bit of salt, put aubergine back together and wrap with silver foil. Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 mins or until nicely soft and collapsing. Take out the oven unwrap and allow to cool a bit before scraping out the flesh into a small pan.
Now cook the liquid out of this pulp for 5 or so mins on medium low heat, season with salt and pepper, add a splash of some good EV olive oil, allow to cool and, if you like, add some some chopped basil leaves for flavour and colour.
Meanwhile half your little tomatoes, lay them cut side up on a baking tray and drizzle with EV olive oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter over some finely sliced garlic, plus, if you have them, a few picked thyme leaves (if using) and dried chilli flakes. Bake in same oven for 20 - 25 mins, so they're nicely roasted sweet and soft.
Pick the leaves from the basil bunch, setting aside the small daintiest ones for the final garnish, and then pound them in a pestle and mortar with a little salt (or whizz up in blender if you prefer) until pureed. Add a good glug of EV olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and then pass through a sieve to give you a vivid green basil oil.
Season your fish fillets and pan fry on medium high heat in a little olive oil on the skin side until crisp and almost cooked (opaque) the whole way through, flip over and turn off the heat, after another 30 secs or a minute they'll be perfectly cooked. Squeeze little lemon juice on and remove from the pan.
Finish the dish by placing a nice portion of the aubergine caviar on each plate, top with a fish fillet and dot around the roasted tomatoes. Garnish tomatoes with the little basil leaves and drizzle around green basil oil.