Red Mullet with Roasted Aubergine Puree, Baby Tomatoes and Basil

If you want to make the dish more fancy, then include some roasted baby aubergines, a drizzle of black olive dressing (blitz up Kalamata olives, with a splash of both olive oil and good balsamic vinegar).  You could ponce things up further still by scattering a few micro herbs over at the end.

Ingredients – about right for a lunch, fish course or starter for two:

1 medium sized red mullet, cleaned, filleted and pin-boned
1 medium aubergine
handful of baby plum or cherry tomatoes, ideally mixed colour (red, orange, yellow)
few cloves of garlic
sprig of rosemary
sprig of thyme – optional
bunch of basil
pinch dried chilli flakes
EV olive oil
a lemon
sea salt and black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Cut the aubergine in half lengthwise, score in lattice fashion and some garlic slices and rosemary needles into the cuts. Sprinkle the cut face with bit of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, put the aubergine back together and wrap up with silver foil. Now bake it in the oven for 30 mins or so (until very soft).  Unwrap, allow to cool and scrape out the flesh into a small pan.

Put the pan on a medium heat and cook the liquid out of the pulp for about five minutes, finish by seasoning with salt, pepper, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, set aside to cool.

Meanwhile half your little tomatoes, lay them cut side up on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, scatter with salt, pepper, some sliced garlic, plus, if you have it a few dried chilli flakes and maybe some fresh thyme.  Turn the oven down to 160 degrees and bake the tray of tomatoes for 25 minutes, so they’re nicely roasted sweet and soft.

Pick the leaves from the bunch of basil (if you like set aside the smallest leaves for garnish) and whizz them up in blender with a good glug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Season your fish fillets and pan fry on medium high heat in a little olive oil on the skin side until the skin is crisp and the flesh almost completely cooked through whole way through, flip over and turn off the heat, after another 30 seconds the fillets should be perfectly cooked.

Finish the dish by placing a nice portion of the aubergine caviar on each plate, top with a mullet fillet and dot around the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with the little basil leaves (if using) and drizzle around the basil puree.

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