Pan-fried Australian Herring with Capsicum & Tapenade

Photo © Franz Scheurer

Serves 6

2 large red capsicums
24 x 50g Australian herring fillets, skin on, bones removed
Extra virgin olive oil, for pan-frying 
Crusty bread, for serving

100g pitted black olives
2 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed and dried
6 anchovy fillets (see notes)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Orange Salad
1 head frisee lettuce
1 orange, segmented
1 golden shallot, finely sliced
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Roast capsicums over a flame, or in a 250ºC oven for about 30 minutes, until skin turns black all over; place in a plastic bag until cool enough to handle then peel, discard seeds and membrane and slice into strips.

Meanwhile, make Tapenade: process olives, capers, anchovies and garlic in a food processor then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until well combined. 

Make Orange Salad: combine all ingredients well, including juice leftover from segmenting orange, and set aside.

Lay the fish on a chopping board, skin-side down. Smear lightly with Tapenade and top half the fillets with capsicum then with remaining fish, skin-side up, to form a ‘sandwich’. 
Heat a non-stick frying pan, add a little oil and pan-fry fish for 1-2 minutes each side, until flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with Orange Salad, remaining Tapenade and crusty bread.

Notes: If available, use Ortiz brand anchovy fillets as they have a much better flavour and are less salty.

Alternative species: Australian salmon, blue mackerel, mullets.

Visit www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/seafood-school/about-sss for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, advice on purchasing and storing seafood, species information and answers to frequently asked seafood questions.