Another day of leaden skies, will summer ever show itself.
There is little to report from the river today other than from the Thames ‘locker of lost and found’, in amongst the reeds a lonely Shakespeare float, it’s flourescent yellow top giving it away from the flotsam and jetsam that surrounded it.
I recently purchased a few old cook books with some good recipes for game. Today was one of those days to look up a recipe or two. In one book were some interesting recipes for salmon, sewin, pike, zander and carp.
On Sunday morning whilst the sun shone we took a walk along Duke Meadows. What I did see growing on the towpath was wild rocket and clumps of horseradish, the latter being a prolific invader of our countryside. Interesting enough not many people know what it is and mistake the leaves for dock leaves. It’s only when you look at the gnarled root at the base of the leaves and pull your nail across the rough brown root will you get that unforgettable smell.
Having found these two wild ingredients it reminded me of a good summer recipe for either pike or zander. The other ingredient that makes this dish is beetroot, one of the best summer vegetables that I feel is under used. If you have the opportunity to catch either a young ‘jack’ pike or a zander and you’re camping by a river this is a great way to dine on what you catch.
All you need to marinade the fish with before you grill it is some olive oil, salt , pepper and the juice of a couple of lemons.
Grilled pike or zander with beetroot, rocket and horseradish.
1 3-4lb zander or pike, 2 medium cooked beetroot, 4oz of horseradish (preferably fresh root),juice of 2 lemons, a good handful of rocket,4fl oz of olive oil, Malvan salt, pepper and some cornstarch.
Peel and slice the beetroot into thin slices, combine the olive oil, salt and pepper and marinade with the beetroot.
Trim the horseradish into thin sticks, coat with the cornstarch and fry until golden brown and lightly salt them.
If out on the river bank, grill the fish skin side down over a fire on wire rack or wrap in foil with a tablespoon of marinade. Grate some horseradish over the wild rocket and toss with some remaining marinade. Place the rocket leaves on each plate and put the fish on top, finish of with the sliced beetroot and top with horseradish chips.
Over the coming weeks I post a few other recipes up such as pike burgers, carp with cherries, trout with watercress sauce, sea-trout wrapped in swiss chard and salmon with cucumber cream.