CHERMOULA-MARINATED FISH WITH CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH & DATE SYRUP
FOOD & DRINK
SERVES 4-6 / PREPARATION 40 MINUTES PLUS MARINATING TIME / COOKING 20 MINUTES PLUS COOLING TIME There is a bit of preparation here, but most of it can be done ahead. I’ve taken to making a vegan version of mayonnaise using aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas, instead of egg. Here I’ve added some preserved lemon too. There are infinite variatons on chermoula, with all kinds of spices and combinations, but I like to add fresh coriander to the mix. This recipe will make more chermoula than you need for the fish, but it’s good for another meal – it pairs well with lamb, or use it to marinate some haloumi or firm tofu. The date syrup adds a little sweetness to the dish and it’s also delicious drizzled over a fruit salad or muesli. PRESERVED LEMON VEGAN MAYONNAISE Depending on how you like your mayonnaise, you could also use all olive oil here, which will result in a stronger flavour. This will keep well in the fridge for ages. ¼ cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) 1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped ¼ preserved lemon, skin only, roughly chopped grated zest and juice of ½ lemon 100ml sunflower oil 50ml extra virgin olive oil Put the aquafaba, garlic, preserved lemon and lemon zest in a tall container suitable for a stick blender. Blitz briefly then slowly drizzle in the oils until it thickens and emulsifies. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to thicken before using. DATE SYRUP (MAKES ABOUT ½ CUP; KEEPS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS) 12 medjool dates, pitted, chopped Put the dates in a saucepan with 1 cup water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Put in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Pass through a cheesecloth-lined sieve (any leftover date paste is delicious in a smoothie). Return the liquid to the saucepan and reduce until thick and syrupy – around 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. FOR THE CHERMOULA-MARINATED FISH 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 2 teaspoons coriander seeds ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground turmeric 3 cloves garlic 1 cup coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped ½ preserved lemon, skin only 2 tablespoons olive oil 600g skinless, boneless fish fillets (I used monkfish) Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant then grind finely with the salt using a mortar and pestle. Put into a blender with the remaining ingredients, apart from the fish, add 2 tablespoons of water and puree to a paste, adding a little extra water if needed. Set aside. Marinate the fish fillets in ¼ cup of the chermoula and set aside for 2 hours. The chermoula will keep in the fridge for up to a week. FOR THE CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH & TO SERVE ¼ large cauliflower (or ½ a small one) 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed (reserve the aquafaba – the liquid in the tin) 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for frying ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ telegraph cucumber, deseeded, chopped 3 medium-sized tomatoes, deseeded, chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 2 cups flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped juice of ½ lemon 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Preheat the oven to 220°C. Chop the cauliflower into rough chunks, then pulse briefly in a food processor to coarse rice-sized crumbs. Put into a bowl with the chickpeas, olive oil, paprika and cumin, toss well then spread on a baking paper-lined oven tray, season generously with sea salt and roast for 15-20 minutes or until lightly coloured and just cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When ready to serve, put into a bowl with the cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley and dress with the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste. Panfry the fish in a little oil until just cooked. Serve each portion with some of the tabbouleh, drizzle with the date syrup and add a dollop of the mayonnaise. WINE A dry, zesty rosé. We recommend the Two Rivers Isle of Beauty Rosé 2017.