Pan-fried gurnard salad
I am very fortunate to have a green-thumbed partner. This spring he has been tirelessly toiling away in our glass house; tidying and trimming, composting and mulching, possibly talking to the plants, whispering a few words of encouragement – whatever he is doing it is working. We have tomatoes, coriander, basil, zucchini, spinach, a variety of lettuces (including a beauty called ‘drunk lady’s hair’!) in abundance, as well as peppers and tomatillos just beginning to sprout. My favourite thing at the moment though has to be the beautiful lipstick-pink radishes that are ready for harvest. Their crunchy, peppery bite is just the thing to build upon in this light spring salad. Gurnard is one of my favourite fishes; its firm flesh is perfect for pan-frying as it holds its shape well when cooked.
- 1 fennel bulb
- 8 radishes
- 1 red onion
- 1 orange
- Generous handful coriander leaves
- 1 long red chilli
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 400g Gurnard fillets, boned
- 2 tbsp each butter and olive oil for frying
- Lemon wedges to serve
- 1. Remove outer leaves and top from fennel (save the fronds), and very finely slice. A mandoline is great for this. Top and tail the radishes, peel red onion and very finely slice.
- 2. Peel orange, being careful to remove any pith. Remove any pips. Chop into 2cm size pieces. Roughly chop coriander leaves.
- 3. Very finely slice half the red chilli, then mince remaining half (remove the seeds and ribs if desired).
- 4. Combine sliced fennel, radishes, red onion, orange pieces, coriander leaves, and sliced chilli. Make a light dressing with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, minced chilli, fennel fronds, salt and pepper. Toss the salad and divide among 4 plates.
- 5. Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Once sizzling, add gurnard, seasoning well with sea salt and pepper. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side, turning once. Divide fish fillets among plates and serve immediately.