The aniseed flavour of the fennel and the zesty tahini dressing, which gets its vibrant colour from parsley and coriander leaves, cuts through the lovely richness of the ocean trout. If ocean trout is unavailable, you could use salmon fillets in this recipe.
- 4 ocean trout fillets (about 180 g each)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb (about 250g), outer leaves discarded, fronds reserved
- 250 g finely shredded Savoy cabbage
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- crushed potatoes (see note), to serve
- lemon cheeks, to serve
- 1 small garlic clove
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 90 g (⅓ cup) hulled tahini
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (loosely packed)
- 1 cup coriander leaves (loosely packed)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp warm water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
For the green tahini, place the garlic and a good pinch of sea salt flakes in a mortar and pound with a pestle until a paste forms. Place the garlic paste in a food processor with the tahini, herbs and cumin, and process until finely chopped. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and combine well. With the motor running, gradually add the warm water and combine well. Adjust the seasoning and consistency to taste.
Season both sides of the fish. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. When hot, place the fish fillets in the pan, skin-side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes, without moving, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Turn the fish over, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and stand in a warm place for 5 minutes.
While the fish is resting, cut the fennel bulb into quarters and remove the core. Using a mandoline, thinly shave into a large bowl. Add the shredded cabbage and enough of the green tahini to just coat. Add the sesame seeds and chopped reserved fennel fronds and toss to combine. Check the seasoning, then drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve with the ocean trout, crushed potatoes and lemon cheeks.
• For the crushed potatoes, steam desiree potatoes until tender, peel, then cook in olive oil over medium heat, crushing with the back of a spoon and tossing frequently, until golden and crunchy.
Photography by Benito Martin
Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd