My God, has it really been three months? To be fair, I’ve been sulking a little.
We recently witnessed a rugby tournament blessed with some outstanding games and moments of brilliance. Who can forget that incredible last gasp Japanese victory over South Africa? THAT Fijian try against Wales, the Scotland v Somoa game and just the sheer all round awesomeness of the All Blacks.
The hosts? Well we trudged off up to bed with a cup of cocoa whilst the party got started downstairs, grumpily asking for everyone to keep the bloody noise down.
I was lucky enough to get to a couple of games in Newcastle myself, watching South Africa v Scotland and the All Blacks’ Haka versus the Tongan Sipi Tau – spine-tingling stuff.
I have nowhere to go with this, I just wanted to mention the rugby and apologies for those who haven’t the faintest clue what I rambling on about.
So anyway, fish. Love it. When I get the chance, this is how I like it, unfussy and ready within 20 minutes, if you get a move on.
I’ve been really into the Nordic thing recently – very simple but strong flavours. This follows that ethic albeit with an Italian accent. The salsa verde pairs classically with meaty white fish like halibut so long as you don’t over do it. The charred little gem lettuce added a nice nutty element and a bit of texture too.
- Parsley and butter to serve
- 8-10 larger new potatoes.
- 2 Halibut portions – as fresh as can be.
- Butter and oil for frying
- 1 little gem lettuce, halved
- A few handfuls of peas and a quarter of sliced cabbage
For the salsa verde:
- 2 garlic cloves,
- A handful each of mint, basil and parsley
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 2 tsp capers
- Two gherkins
- 1-2 tsp mustard (dijon)
- A good lug of extra virgin olive oil
- Vinegar to taste
- Sea-salt to taste
Set an oven to 60°C (to keep things warm later)
Finely chop all the whole salsa verde ingredients.
Neatly peel and barrel the potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan, brush the little gem lettuce halves with oil and season with a pinch of sea salt. Char in the pan until slightly wilted. Set aside in the oven.
Bash all the salsa verde ingredients, except the salt and vinegar in a pestle and mortar. Add the oil to make a loose sauce. I prefer it on the drier side though. Add the vinegar/salt to taste. You can adjust any of this to suit though. Set aside out the way.
For the last five minutes, I steam the peas and sliced cabbage over the potato pan. Set aside in the oven.
Drain the potatoes, and stir through some butter and chopped parsley. Put it in the oven with the rest.
Lastly, heat a pan of oil until smoking hot, season and fry the halibut skin side down until crispy. It’ll only take a few minutes. Reduce the heat and add the butter, basting the fish with it for a minute or two more. Flip the fillets carefully for a minute to finish and take it off the heat. Don’t overcook it.
Plate it all up with a nice sauvignon blanc from New Zeland – that’s two things they’re good at.