A delightful culinary pairing that combines the lusciousness of ocean trout with the earthy essence of beetroot and the delightful surprise flavours of native bush foods. A stunning, versatile, yet deceptively simple dish that can be served anytime as an elegant breakfast alongside creamy scrambled eggs, a shared plate, a standalone entrée, or a buffet centrepiece. An exceptional combination of ingredients, that celebrates a marriage of flavours from the ocean and earth.
For the cured trout
- 1 side of ocean trout
(approx. 1kg), skin removed and pin-boned
- 250g rock salt
- 250g sugar
- 400g beetroot, peeled and grated
- 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (use the tops too)
- A small bunch of dill, chopped
- 1 lime, finely zested
- 60ml shiraz gin
- 2-3 finger limes, pearls removed
- Handful karkalla greens
- Fruity extra virgin olive oil
- Dill or fennel fronds
- Freeze-dried finger lime chips (optional)
- Freeze-dried Davidson plum powder (optional)
- Crusty bread
1. To cure the trout
In a medium bowl combine the rock salt, sugar, grated beetroot, fennel, dill and gin. Spread half of the mixture in the base of a tub or gastronome that’s large enough to comfortably hold the fish. Spread over the remaining mixture, making sure the full surface area of the fish is covered. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. To serve
Remove the trout from the cure, wipe clean with a paper towel and pat dry. Slice thinly and arrange on a serving plate or platter. Dress with finger lime pearls, karkalla greens, a drizzle of olive oil, dill/fennel fronds, a scatter of freeze-dried finger limes and a sprinkle of freeze-dried Davidson plum powder.
- Serve with the sparkle of a well paired wine, such as Mt Yengo Sparkling White NV (209392). This wine is richly nuanced with fruit and a crisp finish that creates a delightful balance and partner to the cured trout.
- The ocean trout can be substituted for sashimi grade salmon.
- To elevate this dish further, serve with fresh salmon eggs.
- Freeze-dried finger limes can be used in chunks (as is) or ground into a powder. While their sourness works beautifully with rich dishes, it is good to exercise the adage ‘a little goes a long way’, and therefore they should be used sparingly. Make sure you gradually build the flavour, tasting as you go.
- The beetroot infusion not only imparts a beautiful jewel-like colour to the trout but also adds a subtle earthy sweetness that enhances the clean, fresh flavours of the fish.
- The scattering of native bush foods to dress the fish adds a final surprise layer of salty, sharp and sour to complement.
As seen in spring/summer 2023