This recipe has bright fresh colours and flavours from the lettuce, gherkins and radish. Served with fillet of brill.
1 cucumber, cut in half then sliced lengthways
50g/2oz caster sugar
150ml/5fl oz rice wine vinegar
1 red chilli, finely diced
16 pea pods
3 medium gherkins, finely sliced lengthways
12 breakfast radishes, sliced lengthways
2 tbsp capers
4 brill fillets, skinned and fully trimmed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coriander cress
2 tbsp pea shoots
For the dressing, place the butterhead lettuce, gherkins and glucose into a food processor and blend to a very fine purée.
Pour into a cloth or paper lined sieve over a bowl then set aside to drain through, leaving the dressing in the sieve.
For the salad, place the cucumber into a bowl.
Heat the caster sugar and rice wine vinegar in a small saucepan until just simmering then add the chilli and stir.
Pour immediately onto the cucumber and stir to make sure all the cucumber is covered. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Pop the peas from their pods and cook for a minute in a pan of boiling water. Immediately drain the peas and put them into a bowl of cold water, to stop the cooking process.
Place the gherkins, radishes, capers, peas together in a bowl and mix together.
Drain the cucumber, reserving the pickling liquor. Add the cucumber to the gherkin mixture and mix together.
Add a little of the pickling liquour to the salad, just enough to coat the vegetables.
Season the brill with salt and black pepper.
Heat a frying pan until hot, add the butter and oil then add the brill and fry on each side for two minutes.
To serve, using a pastry brush, brush a spoonful of the dressing onto each serving plate, then top with a handful of the salad, finishing with a scattering of coriander cress and pea shoots. Set the brill fillet alongside.
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James is joined by chefs Paul Rankin and Nigel Haworth, plus actor Bradley Walsh.
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