Can something be simple and decadent at the same time?
We suggest you give this dish a try and see: olive water-brined Dutch Yellowtail, poached in coal-smoked local olive oil, whipped avocado, dressed radish, garlic flowers, and garden greens.
“This is a dish inspired by the flavours and ingredients that surround me in Soller, but the star of the show is the yellowtail. The fish is a joy to work with and can be used in so many ways.”
Serves 1 – 2
- Dutch Yellowtail, skinned, trimmed, and shaped (I used the centre of the bottom loin and cut it roughly 5cm x 5cm / 2” x 2”)
- 4 x medium radish
- 1 x large ripe avocado
- 30g / 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 lemon
- Local or any good quality olive oil
- Olive wood, cooked to charcoal
- Green olive brine
- 3 sprigs of fresh marjoram or oregano
- White balsamic vinegar
- Assorted herbs and flowers to garnish (I used: garlic flowers, nasturtium and oxtails from my kitchen garden)
- I brined the fish first so that it would take on some of the local flavours, slightly seasoning it while also firming up the flesh, before poaching in olive oil. Poaching this way keeps all the amazing flavours inside the fish, while creating a soft, velvety texture that you can break apart with a spoon.
- For the brine, I used a 40:60 ratio of olive brine to water. We have amazing olives here on Mallorca and I used the liquid from a friend’s olives. You can use any olive water that you like.
- Once the fish is prepped and portioned, place it in the water/brine mix (in enough liquid to cover it completely) along with the fresh marjoram, and allow to firm up slightly and take in the flavours— approximately 8-10 minutes.
- Remove fish from the brine, drain and dry completely with paper towel, and allow it to come to room temperature.
- There are different ways to poach the yellowtail, depending on your equipment. I used a metal tray, probe, and my oven but you can also use a vacuum pack bag and water bath.
- Place the fish in a small tray, and cover with good-quality olive oil. I used some of my friend’s local Soller olive oil, as it is quite strong and peppery and is a staple in my kitchen. To get the smoke flavour into the oil, I cooked some olive wood down to charcoal in my pizza oven, then infused it in the olive oil over night. Once infused, I passed it through a fine sieve with three layers of muslin to get it super clean.
- Place the oven on it’s lowest setting and gently warm the oil to 42 °C / 107 °F. Once heated, remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes. Then chill in the oil.
- To make the whipped avocado: halve the avocado, remove the peel and stone, and add to a blender (I use a Vitamix as it gives the smoothest purées), then add the mayonnaise and a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, but be careful not to overheat the avocado.
- Check the seasoning and lemon juice, add more if needed. Pass through a fine sieve and into a piping bag and chill.
- Using a mandolin, slice the radishes very finely into a mixing bowl. Discard the tops and bottoms, so that all the slices are similar in size. Season with salt and pepper add a splash of white balsamic and olive oil, mix, and then drain any liquid and reserve.
- Start layering the radish around the inside of the dish, slightly overlapping until it covers the inside of the dish. Once completed, using a pastry brush, brush a little of the reserved oil and white balsamic over the radish for extra shine.
- Drain the fish from the olive oil and place it in the centre of the dish, then add a few drops of the raw olive brine over the fish. Pipe assorted size dots of whipped avocado puree around the fish, garnish with flowers and cresses, and serve
- Note, this dish can be served cold or at room temperature.