Crispy sea bass with rosemary flowers and cucumbers

Serves 4 as a starter

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Indy Lifestyle Online

When my rosemary bush is full of tiny blue flowers I can't resist trying to find a way to use them. I've made both sweet and savoury jellies and even crystallised them, but here I've scattered the lightly perfumed flowers onto the fish and cucumber. They complement it perfectly. You don't have to use sea bass for this – try grey mullet or white fish like cod, pollack or whiting.

300-350 sea bass fillet, boned
100ml milk
100-150g gluten-free self-raising flour
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
Half a cucumber, cut lengthways and the seeds scooped out
1tbsp olive oil
tbsp white wine or cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small handful of rosemary flowers
1 medium shallot, peeled, halved and very finely sliced

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer.

Cut the fish into chunks of about 2cm square. Season it, then pass through the flour, shaking off any excess. Pass through the milk, and then again through the flour. Deep fry for 2-4 minutes, turning the fish with a slotted spoon as it cooks, until crisp and golden. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile cut the cucumber into half-cm thick slices, on a slant. Heat the olive

oil in a frying pan and cook them for a minute or so on a medium heat without colouring, seasoning and turning them as they are cooking. Add the vinegar and remove from the heat. Arrange the cucumbers on warmed serving plates with the sea bass on top, then scatter over the rosemary flowers and shallots. You can spoon a little more olive oil over if you wish.

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