Gurnard is a rather undervalued fish, possibly because it is a bit bony and, being a bottom feeder, it can have a slightly earthy taste. It does, however, have a lovely sweet flavour. This recipe would also suit grey or red mullet, and even mackerel or other oily fish. The vegetables also make a good lunch or supper dish on their own.
Ask the fishmonger to scale, fillet and remove any pin bones from the gurnard.
Prepare the vegetables: put
Add the lemon zest and juice, the parsley, marjoram and tomato pieces, with more salt if needed. Bring back to the boil, then leave to cool. This is just a vinaigrette flavoured by all the vegetables being cooked in the stock and acidulated by the lemon and herbs at the final stage.
Cook the gurnard in the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat until slightly firm, about 5 minutes, seasoned with Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. (You may have to use two pans or cook in batches.)
Serve the fish with the vegetables. This dish can be eaten cold, but is so much nicer served warm.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.