The names we give fish determine their survival. Let me explain. We call shark ‘flake’ and as a result these fearsome predators of the deep are fast approaching annihilation off our coastal waters, because we are eating them faster than they can breed. If it were sold as shark no one would have ever eaten it. The reverse is true for the wonderful fish rather unflatteringly named ‘flathead’, making them sound more like a character from an Australian soap opera than a tasty fish. As a result, until very recently, they were a very cheap and highly underrated fish. So don’t tell a soul when I say that skate and stingray are the last bargains from the sea. The flesh is firm and moist, high in omega-3 fatty acids, the fish are abundant and a quarter of the price of our supermarket favourites and are very, very easy to cook.
This skate recipe contrasts the richness of butter and hazelnuts with the sharp taste of capers and lemons.