Crisp red mullet with provençal gâteau and shellfish vinaigrette – by Bruce Poole

11 September 2006
Crisp red mullet with provençal gâteau and shellfish vinaigrette – by Bruce Poole


(serves four)

400g courgettes, angle-cut into 1cm slices
Sea salt
120g sauce vierge
120g tapenade
120g egg mayonnaise
Shellfish vinaigrette (see below)
Black pepper
4 red mullet fillets
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

For the shellfish vinaigrette 12 fresh cockles
12 fresh mussels
0.5g saffron
50ml water
½ clove of garlic
1tbs red wine vinegar
4tbs olive oil
15g fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and pepper


Sprinkle courgette slices with sea salt and leave for one hour over a wire rack or sieve. Dry thoroughly with cloth but do not wash. Prepare the sauce vierge, tapenade and egg mayonnaise.

Take the cleaned shellfish and steam until the shells open, reserving some of the cooking liquor for use as stock in the vinaigrette. Remove shells from the shellfish. Set aside.

In a small pot, bring the saffron and water to the boil with a little of the shellfish cooking liquor and reduce to half the quantity. Add the garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Cool. Add the tarragon to the shellfish. Mix with the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Place the courgette slices into a very hot, dry pan. Sear until nicely golden on both sides. Remove from heat. Dress with olive oil and black pepper.

Brush both sides of the red mullet fillets generously with olive oil. Season well. Place directly under salamander, skin side up, basting frequently. Grill until crisped, golden and fillets are cooked.

To assemble dish, place the sauce vierge into an oiled ring at the top of a plate, followed by the tapenade and lastly the egg mayonnaise. Release from the ring mould. In the centre of the plate, lay the red mullet on top of the courgettes, drizzle a little of the vinaigrette around the plate, dotted with a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

Bruce Poole

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