I chose this dish for spring because of its seasonality. Snapper is in season, broad beans are in season, asparagus in season and the citrus are just coming to the end of their season – this dish sings with seasonality. The weather is warming up during the daytime, but it is still cool at night, so the rouille component adds extra weight to the dish to make it perfect for pre-summer.
This dish also comprises all the things that are currently growing in our backyard at home – asparagus, broad beans, micro-herbs, lemon and lime. The only thing we’re missing is the fish tank. Actually the fish are nearly growing in our back yard as they’re caught so close by in Port Phillip Bay. We spoke to the fisheries department of Victorian Primary Industry, who closely monitor stocks of snapper in our local bays and inlets, and levels of Victorian snapper are currently regarded as healthy (hence our choice to showcase them). All in all, the carbon footprint of this dish is extremely light, just like the flavours.
Ingredients – ceviche, rouille, salad, garnish
500g snapper fillet, skin on
1 lemon, zested
juiced 1 lime, zested
juiced 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
cracked black pepper
1 red pepper
3 chat potatoes, boiled until very soft & peeled
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 egg yolks
pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch green asparagus
400g broad beans, whole
½ cup micro-herbs
2 tbsp salmon caviar
Cut the fillet either side of the pin bones and slice with the grain from head to tail in thin scallops off the skin.
Make marinade by combining zest and juice of lemon and lime with extra virgin olive oil and season to taste. Set aside.
Make rouille. Char skin of red pepper on the gas jet or under the grill and put it into a bowl sealed with cling film for 5 minutes to steam skin off. Remove from bowl and scrape skin off with a knife. Place pepper, potatoes, crushed garlic, white wine vinegar and saffron in a food processor and blend to fine paste. Add egg yolks and pour vegetable oil in while motor is running. Season to taste with cayenne pepper and sea salt.
Make salad garnish. Blanch asparagus for 20 seconds in rapidly boiling water and remove (don’t refresh it as refreshing saps flavour). By only blanching for 20 seconds, removing, then allowing to cool naturally, the asparagus will still stay green and be al dente. Pod the broad beans, blanch in boiling water for 1 ½ minutes, remove and refresh (as they have protective shell) and then shell broad beans. Slice up asparagus into lozenge shapes and reserve with prepared broad beans.
Lightly toss fish with marinade and set aside for 5 mins.
Assemble. Put a spread of rouille on plate, arrange asparagus and broad beans on top of rouille. Place fish over broad beans. Garnish with micro-herbs and salmon roe.