“I was looking for something northern Italian and easy-going to match the ball’s theme of La Dolce Vita, and carpaccio was perfect. I like to buy the fish whole so I can see the freshness. If you don’t want the whole thing, choose the fish and get your fishmonger to fillet it in front of you so you can see the quality.” - Guy Grossi, Grossi Florentino
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 50 gm (¼ cup) capers in vinegar, drained
- 400 gm kingfish
- To serve: watercress sprigs
- 1 blood orange (see note), plus extra, sliced, to serve
- 125 ml (½ cup) verjuice
- 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
- 5 gm agar-agar
- 500 gm piquillo peppers (see note)
- 1For blood orange sauce, place blood orange in a saucepan, cover with cold water, then simmer over medium heat until orange is tender (1-2 hours), adding more water to keep orange submerged if necessary. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel (discard skin) and place orange flesh in blender. Add verjuice, process to a fine purée, then, with motor running, add olive oil in a thin steady stream until incorporated and sauce is smooth. Sauce will keep refrigerated for 2 days.
- 2For piquillo jelly, combine agar-agar and 500ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, simmer over low heat until thick (8-10 minutes). Process piquillo in a blender until smooth, pass through a coarse sieve into a bowl (discard seeds). Add agar-agar mixture, whisking continuously, pour into an oiled 17cm x 28cm x 1cm tray. Refrigerate until set (1-2 hours).
- 3Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Add capers, fry until crisp (1-2 minutes), strain through a sieve and set aside.
- 4Slice kingfish thickly across the grain, arrange on plates, brush with olive oil, season to taste. Turn out piquillo jelly, slice into eight 12cm x 2cm batons (you’ll have some remaining), place down the middle of kingfish. Scatter over capers, blood orange slices and watercress, drizzle with blood orange sauce (you’ll have some remaining) and serve.
Note If blood oranges are unavailable, substitute oranges. Piquillo peppers are Spanish sweet peppers that have been roasted over open fire, peeled and preserved, available in jars and cans from David Jones food halls and select delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: 2006 Yering Station MVR Marsanne Rousanne Viognier.