"Prepared a day ahead, then chilled, this is one of those summer-table centrepieces that is as easy to make as it is impressive," says Sean Moran of Sean's restaurant in Sydney's Bondi. "Dill is the perfect friend for freshwater fish, and the nasturtiums surrounding the fish can make way for watercress or tiny lettuce hearts to mop up the dressing; potato salad or simple boiled potatoes are a welcome side, too. Murray cod becomes incredibly gelatinous as it cools; substitute a fattier fish, such as ocean trout or salmon, if you prefer a different style." Start this recipe a day ahead to poach the Murray cod.
- 1 Murray cod (about 1.4kg), cleaned
- 1 cup (loosely packed) dill, plus extra finely chopped to serve
- 90 gm (⅔ cup) cooking salt
- Peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 6 spring onions, 4 coarsely chopped, remaining white parts only finely chopped
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Nasturtium leaves and flowers (optional; see note), to serve
- 1Lower cod into a large saucepan about 30cm in diameter, so it sits upright, curled comfortably around the side. Add dill, salt, lemon rind and coarsely chopped spring onion, then enough water to just cover. Weight with a plate to keep fish submerged, then bring to just below a simmer (about 75°C) over medium heat. Remove from heat and leave to poach until cooled (2-3 hours). Refrigerate, still submerged, to chill (overnight).
- 2Whisk lemon juice, olive oil and 1 tbsp poaching liquid until emulsified and season to taste.
- 3Carefully lift fish from pan and onto a large platter (if skin sticks to pot, release it with a spatula). Score skin around fins, head and tail, then carefully peel it away (discard skin). Surround fish with nasturtiums, spoon some of the dressing over the flesh, top with finely chopped spring onion and dill, and serve with remaining dressing.
Nasturtiums are available from select greengrocers, or a friendly neighbour.Drink suggestion: A chardonnay with a little oak, such as the 2016 Bannockburn Chardonnay from Geelong. Drink suggestion by Beverley Woods.