My first after-school job was in the seafood department at an Auckland supermarket. I remember taking large blocks of fish out of the freezer and thawing them, then placing them on ice with sprigs of plastic parsley in the display cabinet with little price tags that also stated thawed for your convinience. Then this would get packed away in fridges for the next day, and so on. One thing I really miss about Perth was having Kailis Bros fishmonger just down the road, I could be sure the fish was always fresh and there was always a large selection.
We tried this for the first time over the weekend, and it was a hit. This recipe will work with any firm white-fleshed fish. Now I need to find a good local fishmonger. The cooking method is to grill for 2 minutes under a hot grill, then bake for six minutes in a medium oven, our grill and oven are combined, so the instructions below are based on this.
8 sundried tomatoes, plus about 1tbs of the sundried tomato oil
1 1/2 pita bread pockets
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 x 200g skinless, boneless blue-eye fillets
1 cup whole-egg mayonnaise (I only use the Best Foods brand)
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cup baby spinach leaves
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
16 baby bocconcini balls
4 tbs pine nuts
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the pita pockets in a food processor and whiz to make breadcrumbs. Place tomatoes, 2/3 of the parsley and garlic in the food processor and process to a smooth tapenade. Stir the tapenade through the breadcrumbs with the remaining parsely, parmesan, and tomato oil and combine well.
Place the fish fillets on a ovenproof dish and season with salt and pepper. Spread the crumb mixture over the top of each piece of fish, pressing down well to coat. Turn the heat on the oven up to high, and switch the top element to grill. When the grill is hot, place the fish under this for 2 minutes until the crust starts to brown and crisp. Then turn the heat back to 180°C and switch the oven back to bake, and cook for 6 minutes.
Meanwhile combine all the mayonnaise ingredients and toast the pine nuts in small non-stick frypan. Build a small salad on each plate with spinach, tomatoes, bocconcini and top with pine nuts. Serve the fish with salad and dollops of mayonnaise.