Brill and Vegetable Terrine

I have made fish terrines in the past with a panada base, but now I prefer this rather lighter terrine. It can be made using other firm-fleshed fish such as turbot, sole or salmon.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/8 oz red peppers, halved and seeded
  • 30 ml/1 fl oz olive oil
  • 225 g/8 oz courgettes, sliced into 1.25 cm/½ inch rounds
  • 225 g/8 oz head of Florence fennel
  • 350 ml/12 fl oz Tomato Sauce
  • 11 g/scant ½ oz leaf gelatine (6 sheets), soaked
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 fresh spinach leaves, well washed
  • 30 ml/1 fl oz olive oil
  • 225 g/8 oz brill fillet, cut into 1.25 cm/½ inch strips
  • ¾ teaspoon saffron filaments

Method

Brush the peppers with oil and bake in a preheated oven, 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7, for 20 minutes. Leave the peppers until cool enough to handle, then skin and cut into 1.25 cm/½ inch strips. Blanch the courgettes in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain, refresh under the cold tap and drain again. Separate the fennel into leaves, discarding any bruised ones. Blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain, refresh, drain again and slice. Put the vegetables on a tray lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess water and oil.

Heat the Tomato Sauce in a pan, add the gelatine and stir until it has dissolved. Check the seasoning. Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for 1–2 minutes, then drain, refresh and drain again. Leave to drain on kitchen paper. Line a 1.4 litre/2½ pint terrine with clingfilm and then with about two-thirds of the spinach leaves, keeping the rest for the top. Heat the remaining 25 ml/1 fl oz of the oil in a large frying pan, add the brill and saffron, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook gently for 1 minute, then turn carefully and cook the other side for another minute. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper.

Put a few spoonfuls of Tomato Sauce in the terrine, then cover with a layer of vegetables, some more sauce, followed by fish, pressing down well each time. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up. Top with the remaining spinach leaves and cover with clingfilm, pressing down gently. Leave to chill overnight. Turn out of the terrine, peel off the clingfilm and serve sliced into 6 mm/¼ inch slices with some mayonnaise and a crisp salad.

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