This is part one of a two-part recipe series, starring tailor. Fresh tailor, handled with care after catching, has a flavour that is second to none. Bleeding the tailor as soon as it is caught, gutting it as soon as possible and getting the fish chilled down should be second nature to tailor fishermen. Prepared simply, fresh tailor is delicious. However, tailor that has been frozen can sometimes need a small hand in the flavour stakes and that is where the following recipes may help.
The choice of veggies that accompany your tailor fillets is up to you and will depend on what is in season and what looks good. In this recipe I have used fennel, baby aubergines (the small cocktail-size eggplant) and capsicum. I like the blend of flavours that these vegetables impart to the finished dish, especially the slightly aniseed flavour of the fennel.
2 large red capsicums, seeded and cut into quarters
1 bulb of fennel
6 baby eggplants
2 tailor fillets per person
2 slices bread, crumbed
reserved fennel sprigs, chopped (see later in the recipe)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
generous pinch brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and spray a roasting dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat your grill and line with foil.
Cut the feathery bits from the top of the fennel bulb and place them to one side as they will be used later in the recipe. Cut the base off the fennel and then slice the fennel into thick slices. Cut the eggplants into half lengthways. Spray the fennel slices and the eggplants with some cooking spray.
Place the tailor fillets into the roasting dish. Combine the fresh breadcrumbs, chopped fennel sprigs and the lemon zest and spread out generously over the top of the tailor fillets. Place the roasting dish into the oven and bake for about twenty minutes, depending on the thickness of the tailor. The topping should be crunchy and golden.
Place the capsicum under the grill until the skin has blackened. Remove the capsicum from the grill and placer into a plastic bag and seal. The steam inside the bag will help you remove the skin from the capsicum. Pop the fennel slices and eggplants under the grill and cook until softened. Remove the skin from the capsicum and cut it into slices.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing into a screw top jar and shake. Place the grilled veggies into a large bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Toss the dressing gently through the grilled vegetables.
To serve, place some of the grilled vegetables onto individual serving plates and top with a couple of the golden tailor fillets. Drizzle any remaining dressing around the outside of the plate.Reads: 1166