SALT FISH SALAD

Cuisine - - XMAS CLASSICS - RECIPE BY RAY MCVIN­NIE

SERVES 6 / PREPA­RA­TION 30 MIN­UTES PLUS 24 HOURS STAND­ING TIME

Nowa­days Ray is the con­sult­ing food di­rec­tor for Bite in the New Zealand Her­ald, he's the Am­bas­sador for FAWC in Hawke's Bay, of­fers prod­uct and recipe devel­op­ment for pri­vate clients, and does food demos all around the coun­try.

Some cooks use smoked fish as a sub­sti­tute but this makes a very dif­fer­ent salad from the orig­i­nal. The light salt­ing of the fish in this recipe, how­ever, ap­prox­i­mates as much as pos­si­ble the raw fish flavour and tex­ture of re­hy­drated salt cod. The salt­ing of the onion turns even the most pun­gent onion into a sweet and crunchy salad veg­etable.

500g fil­lets firm white fish (blue cod is best but John Dory, monk­fish, snap­per or hāpuku are also suit­able), skinned and boned 3 ta­ble­spoons flaky sea salt 2 cups water ½ onion, thinly sliced 4 small vine-ripened toma­toes (or use a mix of cherry toma­toes), cored and diced 1 green cap­sicum, roasted over a flame un­til black­ened, peeled, cored, seeded and sliced ½ cup small pit­ted black olives 100ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 3 ta­ble­spoons sherry vine­gar 1 small clove gar­lic, finely chopped

Put the fish fil­lets into a shal­low glass, china or stain­less-steel dish and sprin­kle all over lightly with 1 ta­ble­spoon of the salt. Cover and place in the re­frig­er­a­tor for

24 hours, turn­ing the fil­lets twice.

Re­move from the dish and rinse un­der cold run­ning water for 5 min­utes. Slice thinly on the di­ag­o­nal across the grain of the fish so that you have thin flat leaves of fish.

Mix the re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons of salt with the water in a large bowl and add the onion slices. Soak these for 20 min­utes, drain and rinse well.

To serve, layer the salted fish with the onions, toma­toes, cap­sicum and olives on a large serv­ing plat­ter. Mix the oil, vine­gar and gar­lic well and driz­zle this mix­ture over the salad. Al­low to stand for 10 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

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