Grilled red mullet with potato skordalia and pickled samphire

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Good fresh red mullet is delicious cooked on the bone. It has a flavoursome, slightly oily flesh and goes perfectly with this traditional garlicky potato dip. Cook the fish on a barbecue only if you have one of those wire fish clamps - without one, the fish will stick. Skordalia is rather like an aioli, rich and silky with the olive oil. Try to buy new-season garlic as it's not quite as harsh and much sweeter. Serve some simply grilled vegetables or a strong salad leaf, such as rocket, with it. As salad, the Greeks eat wild, bitter greens, and rock samphire, though I don't know how that compares to the samphire that grows on the East Anglian coast. Anyway, once pickled, samphire will play the same role in this dish as pickled caper leaves would.

Good fresh red mullet is delicious cooked on the bone. It has a flavoursome, slightly oily flesh and goes perfectly with this traditional garlicky potato dip. Cook the fish on a barbecue only if you have one of those wire fish clamps - without one, the fish will stick. Skordalia is rather like an aioli, rich and silky with the olive oil. Try to buy new-season garlic as it's not quite as harsh and much sweeter. Serve some simply grilled vegetables or a strong salad leaf, such as rocket, with it. As salad, the Greeks eat wild, bitter greens, and rock samphire, though I don't know how that compares to the samphire that grows on the East Anglian coast. Anyway, once pickled, samphire will play the same role in this dish as pickled caper leaves would.

4 red mullet weighing about 300-350g each or large ones cut in half, scaled and gutted
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Olive oil for brushing
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges

for the skordalia

250g floury potatoes, washed
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
150ml olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
2tsp white wine vinegar

Boil the potatoes with their skins on in salted water until cooked. Drain and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the skins with a small knife and cut the potatoes into small pieces. Put them through a potato ricer or mash them smoothly in a mixing machine with the paddle attachment. Add the garlic, seasoning and lemon juice and vinegar, then gradually beat in the olive oil until you get a smooth purée, as if you are making mayonnaise. Re-season if necessary.

Meanwhile pre-heat a grill, season the mullet and brush with a little oil, then grill on a piece of foil for about 4-5 minutes on each side, basting with oil every so often.

Serve with the warm skordalia and a few salad leaves and lemon wedges.

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