Red gurnard is a firm fish, with fantastic flavour. It’s one that we should all be eating more, as gurnard is often discarded due to low market demand. Once you try this recipe though, you’ll want to add it to your repertoire, as this tasty dish never fails to impress and can be prepared well in advance as a starter or main course.
Escabeche is simply the Spanish word for ‘pickled’ and usually refers to fish that has been fried first, then marinated in a flavoured vinegar.
2 fillets of red gurnard (pin-boned)
1 head garlic, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs lemon thyme
150ml extra virgin olive oil
50ml fresh lemon juice
200g carrots peeled and finely sliced
2 small onions peeled and finely sliced
1 clove chopped garlic
50ml white wine vinegar
75g white wine
100g olive oil
2g coriander seeds crushed
A pinch of saffron – powder works best
In a shallow container, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and lemon thyme. Then, season the red gurnard with a little Cornish sea salt and ground white pepper, while you bring a frying pan up to a high heat. Pan-fry the fillets in a little of the olive oil, approximately 3 minutes on the skin side, 1 minute on the flesh. Once cooked, remove and place into the container of the remaining ingredients and leave to infuse.
For the escabeche, gently sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a low heat so it cooks without colour. Add the carrot and once both are just cooked, add all the remaining ingredients. Allow the mixture to come to the boil, then remove from the heat.
To serve, spoon the escabeche in the centre of the plate, then place the red gurnard on top. Finish with a little dressed salad. Enjoy.