January 21, 2021

Recipe: Garfish with pesto alla Trapanese and watercress cream

Fresh fish and fresh green flavours make the perfect light summer meal. The pesto and watercress cream can be made a couple of days ahead of time.

Garfish with pesto alla Trapanese and watercress cream

pesto alla Trapanese
makes 250ml

8 cherry tomatoes (very ripe and sweet)
120g blanched and peeled almonds, lightly toasted
50g grated pecorino
40g basil leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
½ tsp coarse salt
125g extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky, dry pesto.

Give your fish market a few days notice and ask them to fillet 8 garfish, leaving the head and tail still attached. Open them out and spread a tablespoon of pesto Trapanese down the length of the fish. Fold over and tie with kitchen string. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 7-8 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, steamed, minted peas and broad beans and watercress cream.

watercress cream
makes 350 ml

1 cup young watercress leaves, tightly packed
3 cloves garlic
1 cup cream
freshly ground white pepper

Wash and dry watercress. Set aside. Put unpeeled garlic into a small pan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to a boil, strain. Repeat twice more, always starting with cold water.
Peel the softened garlic cloves. Combine with the cream and simmer to cook the garlic until it is very tender. Put all the watercress leaves into a blender and pour in the hot cream.
Blend to a smooth, green sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, if you think it is too thick, loosen it a little with water.
Serve hot or gently reheated.


This recipe first appeared in the November 2020 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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