Jhis dish takes me across borders and brings together the flavors of Greece and Turkey, using a Turkish fish marinade with a garlicky Greek potato sauce. Swordfish is commonly used in Turkey to make fish skewers and is (at the time of writing) a good sustainable fish choice. It has a meaty texture that lends itself very well to kebabs, but you can replace it with hake, monkfish or any other firm white fish available; simply ask your fishmonger to remove the bones and skin. You can grill them on the barbecue or cook them under a very hot grill. Some fries or white rice would be good accompaniments, as well as some fresh salads.
For 4 people
For the skordalia
floury potatoes 500 g, peeled and cut into 3 cm pieces
Garlic 3 cloves, minced
lemon juice 4 tbsp, or to taste
extra virgin olive oil 7 tablespoons
For the fish
cumin seeds ½ teaspoon
firm white fish fillets 900g, such as swordfish, hake or monkfish
untreated lemon zest 1 tsp, finely grated
lemon juice 3 tablespoons
paprika ½ teaspoon
pul beer ¼ tsp (Aleppo pepper), plus ½ tsp
Garlic 1 clove, chopped
extra virgin olive oil 5 tablespoons
salted butter 30g
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes, or until completely tender, then drain and place in a bowl. Mash the potatoes until completely smooth. Place the minced garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle with ½ teaspoon of salt and crush them into a paste. Add it to the potato along with the lemon juice, then slowly stir in the oil in stages until fully blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preferences; you can add more salt or lemon juice.
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about a minute, until fragrant. Grind in a mortar and pestle. Cut the fish into large, even-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest and juice, spices, garlic, olive oil and ¾ teaspoon of salt, mix well, then leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Thread the fish pieces onto skewers if you are barbecuing them or place them on a baking sheet. Preheat the grill to its highest setting, then cook the fish for 2 minutes on each side until the pieces are just cooked through. While the fish is cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan and mix it with the ½ teaspoon of pul biber.
To serve, drizzle the chili butter over the fish just before bringing it to the table with the skordalia dip.
From Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan (Bloomsbury£26)
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