Warm fish with thinned garlic mayonnaise, capers, black olives, parsley and watercress
400g–450g de-boned fillet of fish
(any fine white fish may be used) Sea salt 200g good-quality mayonnaise
(Hellmann’s will not do here) 1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste
with a little salt
A splash of white-wine vinegar 1 sliced small onion 2 sprigs tarragon A few peppercorns A bayleaf A handful coarsely chopped
parsley leaves 1tbspn (heaped) very, very
thinly sliced spring onions 2tbspn black olives (small
Niçoise, preferably) 4 sliced hard-boiled eggs 1tbspn capers 1 bunch watercress, sprigs carefully picked, washed and dried A little cayenne pepper Best olive oil
Salt the fish generously on both sides and leave in a dish for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the mayonnaise and garlic in a bowl.
Rinse the fish well and place it in a pan that will accommodate it snugly. Just cover with cold water, then remove the fish. Add the vinegar, onion, tarragon, peppercorns and bay, bring up to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Slip in the fish, switch off the heat and leave there for 7–8 minutes or until the fish is only just cooked; test with a fork.
Loosen the mayonnaise with a little of the cooking liquor, to thin it to a coating consistency, and flake the fish.
In a handsome glass dish, create layers of fish with mayonnaise, chopped parsley, spring onions, olives, eggs, capers and watercress. Finish with a final layer of mayonnaise, a few olives and watercress, sprinkle with cayenne and slick with a little olive oil. Serve forthwith, while still just warm, with some fabulous bread.