Catch up with friends as the weather starts to warm up. Make the most of the Winter citrus before it disappears and celebrate Spring produce with abundant fresh greens and ripe fragrant strawberries.
The potatoes and greens for the fish can be served hot or cold. You can have nearly everything ready and then just cook the fish when you are ready to serve. The potatoes, greens and salsa verde will work with just about any seafood so use the freshest fish you can get your hands on.
This panna cotta infused with basil is deliciously fragrant and is much lighter recipe than a traditional panna cotta as it is made with half cream and half buttermilk.
Basil panna cotta with strawberries and blood orange granita
Blood orange granita
250 ml freshly squeezed and strained blood orange juice (from about 5 oranges)
55g caster sugar
Basil panna cotta
225 ml cream
125 g caster sugar
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
4 gold strength gelatine leaves
250 ml buttermilk
250g strawberries, hulled and finely chopped
50 g caster sugar
1 blood orange, peeled and segments removed
12 small strawberries, hulled and sliced
12 violets or other edible flowers
To make the blood orange granita, heat the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a small plastic container so it is about 1 1/2 cm deep. Freeze for 5-6 hours or until frozen.
To make the basil panna cotta, combine the cream, sugar, basil, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring just to a gentle simmer, remove from heat, cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to infuse the flavours for 2 hours.
Soften the gelatine leaves in cold water. Reheat cream mixture to a gentle simmer, squeeze any excess water from the gelatine and add to the mixture stirring to dissolve the gelatine. Strain and aside for 10 minutes the whisk in the buttermilk. Transfer to a jug and place 4 dessert bowls into the fridge, divide the mixture between the bowls. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
To make the strawberry syrup, place strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low-medium heat for 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a fine sieve lined with a layer of muslin and strain the strawberry syrup (enclosing the mixture in the muslin and squeezing to extract all the syrup). You should yield 50 mls of syrup.
To serve, place sliced strawberries in a bowl, add a little syrup and toss gently to coat. Scrape the granita with a fork. Top the panna cotta with the strawberries, orange segments, some granita, a drizzle of syrup and the flowers. Serve immediately.
Pan roasted snapper with steamed kipflers, spring greens, salsa verde and preserved lemon
600g kipfler potatoes
4 x 170g snapper fillets
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
120g sugar snaps, trimmed, blanched and split
160g peas, podded and blanched
1 large handful pea tendrils
¼ of a preserved lemon, pith removed and discarded and skin thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
1 bch flat parsley
1 bch dill
1 clove garlic
1 ½ tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Steam the potatoes for 20-30 minutes until tender. When ready cool slightly, peel and slice.
Meanwhile, to make the salsa verde place all the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped (alternatively you could use a stick blender or just chop the herbs, garlic and capers finely by hand and stir together with the remaining ingredients.) Set aside at room temperature.
Heat a large oven-proof non-stick frying pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Season the snapper with sea salt. Add the oil to the pan, then add the snapper skin side down. Cook for 2- 3 minutes or until the skin has turned a rich golden colour. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 3-4 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Then remove from the oven and gently turn the fillets over.
Reheat the peas and sugar snaps for 5 seconds in a pan of boiling salted water.
Arrange the potatoes, sugar snaps, peas, peas tendrils and preserved lemon on plates, add the snapper and some salsa verde, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.