Chermoula flathead with eggplant and tahini yoghurt


  • Serves 4 people

  • 1 eggplant, diced into 1.5cm pieces
  • For shallow-frying: olive oil
  • 1½ cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 150 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
  • Chermoula flathead
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) coriander
  • 2 large golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm (5cm piece) ginger
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ lemongrass stalk, white part only, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp each coriander seeds, fennel seeds and white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • ½ tsp each sweet smoked paprika and ground cumin
  • 4 flathead fillets (about 180gm each), bones removed
  • Pomegranate dressing
  • 100 ml pomegranate molasses
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, or to taste
  • ½ tsp rosewater
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp sumac
  • Tahini yoghurt
  • 100 gm Greek-style yoghur
  • 25 gm hulled tahini
  • Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste
  • ½ garlic clove, finely grated
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
01   For chermoula flathead, process ingredients (except fish) in a food processor until a fine paste forms. Place fillets in a non-reactive container, rub with chermoula paste and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
02   For pomegranate dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
03   For tahini yoghurt, combine ingredients, season to taste and refrigerate until required.
04   Place eggplant in a colander, scatter with salt and set aside to drain (1 hour). Brush salt from eggplant. Heat 2cm oil in a wide saucepan or frying pan over medium-high heat and fry eggplant until golden-brown (4-6 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper and set aside. Add parsley to pan and fry until crisp (1-2 minutes), then drain on absorbent paper and set aside. Add onion, stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes), add garlic and continue stirring (3-4 minutes). Add cumin and fry until fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in tomato and eggplant, add lemon juice to taste, season to taste and set aside.
05   Heat 40ml oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Brush excess chermoula off fish and fry, turning once, until just cooked (3-5 minutes). Squeeze lemon over to taste and season to taste. Top eggplant with fish and fried parsley, drizzle with pomegranate dressing and serve with tahini yoghurt.
This recipe is from the February 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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