Olive oil-poached groper with romesco crumbs, pumpkin purée and caperberry and olive salad


  • Serves 4 people

  • 1¾ litres (7 cups) olive oil
  • 1 sprig each of thyme and rosemary
  • 500 ml (2 cups) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 (about 180gm each) skinless Bass groper fillets, or other white-fleshed fish such as hapuka or Murray cod
  • Pumpkin purée
  • 375 gm peeled butternut pumpkin, finely chopped
  • 100 ml pouring cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • 25 gm salted butter, coarsely chopped
  • Romesco crumbs
  • 100 gm dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp pine nuts, roasted
  • Caperberry and olive salad
  • 12 caperberries
  • 4 large green olives, cheeks removed
  • 1 (about 250gm) oxheart tomato, blanched, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 8 large flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp chardonnay vinegar
01   Combine oil, thyme and rosemary in a large frying pan over low heat and heat oil to 65C. Maintain this temperature until herbs infuse (about 1 hour).
02   Meanwhile, simmer vinegar in a saucepan over low-medium heat until reduced to 165ml (about 40 minutes).
03   For pumpkin purée, combine ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until pumpkin is tender (about 15 minutes). Cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
04   For romesco crumbs, process breadcrumbs and paprika in a blender until combined, gradually add pine nuts and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
05   For caperberry and olive salad, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
06   Poach fish skin-side down in infused oil (at 65C) for 8 minutes for medium rare or until fish is cooked to your liking. Remove fish from oil and pat dry using absorbent paper. Cover flesh side of fish with romesco crumbs and keep warm. Divide pumpkin purée between plates, drizzle with balsamic reduction, top with fish and serve with caperberry and olive salad to the side.
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