Cured leatherjacket with horseradish vinaigrette
SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 20 MINS (PLUS COOLING, CHILLING)
“Nothing is more beautiful than spring produce, too, and when you embrace the seasons you really can’t go wrong.”
“This is a really simple and light dish perfect for spring,” says Rodney Dunn. “The components can all be prepared ahead of time. At the restaurant we use whatever fish the fishermen have caught and so can you – the best white-fleshed fish you can buy – freshness is everything with this dish.” Pictured p107.
2 leatherjacket fillets (about 190gm each), or other white-fleshed fish such as snapper or blue-eye, skin removed 55 gm sea salt 45 gm caster sugar 1 spring onion, thinly sliced Thinly sliced mustard leaves, miner’s lettuce and borage flowers, to serve (see note)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds 1 tbsp sesame seeds 1 tbsp nigella seeds 2 tbsp buckwheat 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
50 gm finely chopped onion 1½ tbsp rice vinegar 1½ tbsp light soy sauce 1 tsp finely grated horseradish 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 70 ml grapeseed oil 1 tbsp sesame oil
1 Trim fish into 8 portions and transfer to plates. Combine salt and sugar, scatter over both sides of fish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2 For toasted seeds, dry-roast sunflower, sesame and nigella seeds over medium heat until fragrant (6-7 minutes; see cook’s notes p182). Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add buckwheat and cook until just tender (7-8 minutes). Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil in a small saucepan to 180°C and deep-fry cooked buckwheat until golden and crunchy (6-7 minutes; be careful, oil will spit). Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels using a slotted spoon, cool, then combine with seeds. Toasted seeds will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.
3 For horseradish vinaigrette, process all ingredients except oils in a blender until combined, then, with the motor running, drizzle in oils. Season to taste and refrigerate until required.
4 Brush curing mix off fish and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to serving plates, drizzle with vinaigrette, scatter with spring onion, leaves, flowers and toasted seeds, and serve.
Note Mustard leaves and borage flowers are available from farmers’ markets and specialist greengrocers; If they’re unavailable substitute rocket and other edible flowers, such as chive flowers.