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Lebanese-style snapper

"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Eggplant, goat’s cheese and spiced onion salad


You'll need

  Salad 2 (about 760gm) eggplant 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve 1 tsp ground cumin ½ cup (loosely packed) mint leaves 80 gm goat’s cheese   Spiced onion 2 tbsp olive oil 2 Spanish onions, cut into wedges 6 cloves garlic, lightly bruised 1 tbsp finely grated ginger 1 tbsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1/3 tsp chilli flakes To taste: caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Cut eggplant lengthways into wedges and place onto an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with cumin and roast for 1 hour or until tender. Cool to room temperature.
  • 02
  • For spiced onion, heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and garlic, season with sea salt and sauté over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add ginger and remaining spices and cook for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup water and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced. Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and caster sugar. Cool to room temperature.
  • 03
  • Arrange eggplant among plates, spoon over spiced onion, scatter with torn mint leaves, crumble over goat’s cheese, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
Short-order idea
For a zucchini, fennel and corn salad, thinly slice zucchini lengthways using a mandolin and blanch in hot water for a few seconds until tender. Cook corn in boiling water until tender and refresh under cold running water. Using a sharp knife remove corn kernels from cob in chunks. Finely shave fennel and combine gently with zucchini, corn and torn basil leaves. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard, season to taste, drizzle over salad and serve.

Vegetable
Vegetable salads are typically cooked, but there are exceptions. A celeriac remoulade consists of grated raw celeriac bound with a mustardy mayonnaise; fennel is often served raw, finely shaved and dressed with a piquant vinaigrette; then there's avocado, tomato (yes, it's technically a fruit), radish and cucumber. Roasted root vegetables make the most perfect winter salads, either as a combination of vegetables or to highlight a single specimen, such as eggplant in the recipe below. Cooked vegetable salads are at their best when served just warm or at room temperature; in these cases it is preferable to dress the salad with only part of the dressing, initially allowing it to soak up the flavours, adding the rest as a final flourish just before serving.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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