The fish fix
Salmon tahini crudo with courgetti salad
Prep Serves 25 min 4
1 chile de arbol, or ½ tsp chilli flakes
1 small garlic clove, unpeeled
The juice of 2 limes 30g tahini
2-3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, to taste 1 tsp caster sugar Salt and black pepper
3 fillets best quality (preferably organic) salmon, or very fresh mackerel
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp stale breadcrumbs (optional)
Oil, for frying (optional)
For the courgetti salad A small bunch chervil, or tarragon 4 courgettes
4 tbsp pumpkin seed oil or extravirgin olive oil
2 tsp tamari, or light soy sauce 30ml fresh lime juice
2 spring onions, peeled and finely chopped
50g pumpkin seeds, toasted Fish, chilli, lime and garlic are very Mexican salad ingredients, which here are given a Middle Eastern spin with the nutty tahini: bold flavours, but fresh and light.
Heat a small, dry frying pan over a medium-high heat and toast the chilli on all sides until it smells nutty and aromatic – about 30-40 seconds. Remove the chilli and add the garlic clove – skin on – and dry-roast on all sides for about eight minutes, until blackened and soft. Peel when cooled.
Meanwhile, grind the chilli to a powder in a mortar, then blitz with the garlic, lime juice, tahini, sesame oil and half the caster sugar. Season to taste.
Skin the salmon and cut into 1cm dice. Add the chives and stir through the salmon, seasoning lightly. You can now toss the fish with the dressing if you prefer it cured – otherwise dress it at the last minute (see below). Refrigerate the fish until you are ready to eat. If you are using the breadcrumbs, fry these over a medium heat in a tablespoon of oil for five to six minutes, until golden and crisp.
Wash the chervil (or, if you can’t find it, tarragon), pick the leaves and discard the stalks. Make spaghetti using all but the inner core of the courgettes with a shredder, speed peeler or spiraliser.
When you are ready to eat, whisk the oil with the soy sauce and lime juice, and season to taste with salt, pepper and the rest of the sugar. Toss the courgetti in this dressing with the rest of the salad ingredients.
Either toss the salmon with the tahini dressing and serve with the salad on the side, or arrange the naked salmon on the plate and drizzle with the dressing. Scatter with the crumbs, if using, and serve at once.