It always feels so much easier to whip up something delicious in Spring or Summer rather than the colder months. There are shorter cooking times and usually less peeling and chopping too. Dishes can just be harmonious assemblies of ingredients that take little time to prepare and cook. This is one such example. Plaice is meaty when raw but softens so much when cooked. The light brine will firm the flesh, though you still need a generous pinch on Maldon at the end to season the skin. Scoring the skin of the fish will allow some of the dressing to permeate and also help it cook evenly. Save any buds or flowers that there may be within your wild garlic to scatter on top at the end, to add some visual pop. Serve with some boiled new potatoes.
2 Plaice fillets, scored on the skin-side with a shallow criss-cross.
4 tbsp Fine salt
4 tbsp Caster sugar
½ cup Broad beans, podded
30g Wild garlic leaves
120g Olive oil
½ tsp Sugar
1 Lemon, grated zest and juice of
1 tbsp Chardonnay vinegar
½ cup Tomato, deseeded, chopped into small pieces
Pinch Maldon salt
- Preheat your grill to high.
- Mix the salt and sugar together then sprinkle all over both sides of the plaice. Leave for 15 mins, then wash off under cold running water, drain and pat dry.
- Blanch the broad beans in rapidly boiling salted water for 2 mins, then refresh under cold or iced water. Drain, and pod any large or wrinkly beans. Keep any small ones in the skin.
- Blend the wild garlic with the water, olive oil, salt and sugar, then mix in the lemon and vinegar.
- Mix in the broad beans and tomato. Check salinity, sweetness and acidity.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the base of a baking tray and top with the plaice. Rub with a little more oil on top then place under the grill and cook until the skin is crispy and the fish just cooked. This will depend on the thickness of your fish and strength of your grill, but I would estimate no less than 8 mins and no more than 15 mins.
- Transfer to a platter and season with Maldon salt and spoon over the dressing.