© David Loftus
pan-cooked asparagus and mixed fish
No matter what your budget, you can make this dish with all different types of fish. Its nice to try to get a mixture of oily and white fi sh fi llets, alongside things like shellfi sh, shrimp and squid. You want everything to cook at the same time, so just make sure that whatever you use is all sliced up into pieces roughly the same size. You can cook it all together in a pan like Im doing here or on the barbecue or, for a healthier way, you can steam it all whichever, fi nish the dish off with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and chilli as these fl avors all work so well with asparagus and fish.
Get a really large frying pan, or two smaller ones, on the heat and add a glug of olive oil. Score the skin of your fi sh fi llets all over, about ½ inch deep, and season. Put the fi sh fi llets into the pan, skin side down, with the squid tentacles. Add the scallops. Run your knife down one side of each squid to open them out, then quickly and lightly score the inside in a crisscross fashion. Lay them in the pan, scored side down. Add the asparagus and gently shake the pan. Cook for a few minutes, then turn everything over and cook on the other side. Sprinkle over the thyme tips.
Youre the one in control of the pan, so if something looks cooked, take it out and keep it warm. Dont watch things burn! When the fi sh has crispy skin, the scallops are golden brown with caramelized edges and the squid has curled up and is nicely chargrilled, remove the pan from the heat. Put the squid on a chopping board and roughly slice it into pieces at an angle, then return to the pan. Lay the fi sh fi llets on each plate. Toss the asparagus, scallops and squid with half the chilli, a good drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice. Lightly season and mix together. Divide on top of the plated fi sh. Sprinkle with the rest of the chopped chilli and the fennel tops, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
2 small red mullet or snapper fillets, scaled and pinboned
1 royal porgy fillet or sea bass fillet, scaled, pinboned and cut in half
sea salt and freshly
ground black pepper
2 small squid, gutted and cleaned, tentacles trimmed and reserved
24 freshly shelled scallops, cleaned and scored in a crisscross fashion
10 medium asparagus spears, woody ends removed
a small handful of thyme tips
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and chopped
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
a small handful of fennel tops