"My best mate's father was a fisherman and he taught us how to fish," says Clugston. "On the weekends we'd catch blackfish and snapper in Boambee Creek and I'd take them home for Mum. This recipe is really about a super-fresh fish dressed simply with briny olives and crunchy nuts."
- 60 gm pistachio nuts
- 4 fillets of firm, white-fleshed fish (about 200gm each), such as trumpeter or blue-eye trevalla, skin on
- Wilted silverbeet, to serve
Kelp oil (see note)
- 100 gm dried kombu
- 200 ml grapeseed oil
- 150 gm large green olives in brine, pitted, coarsely chopped, 1½ tbsp brine reserved (1 cup)
- 1For kelp oil, preheat oven to 160C and roast kelp on a baking tray until crisp (1 hour). Break up, then process with oil in a blender. Leave to infuse for 1 hour, then strain through a sieve, pressing down on the sediment to release as much oil as possible. Reserve 2 tbsp of sediment and oil. Kelp oil will keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks, and can be used for another dish like Beau's soft meringue with ice-cream.
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Roast pistachios on an oven tray until golden brown (10-12 minutes). Cool, then coarsely chop.
- 3For olive sauce, blend olives with brine in a blender, then gradually add water (up to 150ml) until a pourable purée forms. Strain and heat in a small saucepan before serving.
- 4Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to medium high heat. Brush fish with kelp sediment and oil (see note) and grill skin-side down until golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Turn and fry until just cooked.
- 5Spoon olive sauce onto plates, top with fish, scatter with pistachios and serve with silverbeet.
If you choose not to make the kelp oil, use an anchovy paste to season the fish before grilling: pound 5 anchovy fillets to a paste with a mortar and pestle, then add the juice of ½ a lemon and 50ml of extra-virgin olive oil, and stir to combine.