It’s not so long ago I wrote about the difficulty of buying radicchio but then I recently discovered a large display of it in Wholefoods in Richmond and so I’ve started buying it regularly again. Italians will say that Treviso tardivo is the best kind of radicchio but the kind most commonly found in UK is the round Chioggia. And really, I was very happy to find that! It wasn’t a time to be fussy.
I love radicchio’s bitter taste – I suppose it’s a little like chicory – and it’s fabulous to tear a few leaves into a green salad for a mix of flavours. Tonight, however, I decided to griddle it. Cooking works well, as it does with tight green lettuces like Baby Gem. I decided to griddle some courgette and tomato with it and serve the vegetables with some pan-fried sea bream. I have a wonderful fishmonger in Twickenham – Sandys – and so I went there and chose a sea bream and asked them to prepare it as two fillets. One I would cook and eat tonight; the other could be frozen for another meal.
Pan-fried Sea Bream with Griddled Radicchio, Courgette & Tomato – Serves 1
- ½ radicchio, cut in half (i.e. you have two quarters)
- 1 small or ½ large courgette, cut into thick slices
- a few tomatoes – depending on size; I had a Heritage mix of colours
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 sea bream fillet
- small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
- ½ clove garlic sliced
Prepare the vegetables. Put in a bowl and pour over a fairly generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to make sure the vegetables are well covered in oil. Heat a griddle until hot.
Lay the vegetables on the hot griddle and cook until the underside is blackening and done. Turn over carefully and cook the other side.
Transfer to a warm serving plate. Drizzle over any leftover oil from the initial coating or pour over a little from a bottle. Drizzle over a little balsamic vinegar. The sweet balsamic is a wonderful complement to the bitter radicchio.
Keep the vegetables warm while you cook the fish. Cut three or four slashes through the skin and just into the flesh of the sea bream fillet. Brush will a little olive oil and sprinkle over some sea salt and pepper and rub in. Heat a frying pan. When hot put the fish in skin-side down.
Cook over a medium heat until you see the edges of the fish start to turn from translucent to white – showing it’s beginning to be cooked quite well through. Then turn the fish over and finish cooking for just a minute or two. Transfer to a warm plate.
Now really you should do this earlier but I forgot so it was done super quick – a kind of persillade sauce to dress the fish. Finely chop the parsley with the garlic. Put in a bowl and season and add some olive oil and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Mix until you have a salsa-type consistency. Transfer to a little serving bowl.
Serve the fish with a little of the parsley salsa and the griddled vegetables.
It was such a warm evening I could sit outside in the garden, catching the last of the sun.
It was a perfect summer meal. Gorgeous soft, moist and delicious fish with a crispy skin and fabulous, slightly charred griddled vegetables. It was such a lovely mix of flavours with the bitter radicchio and sweet tomatoes and courgettes making a perfect accompaniment to the fish.