Cornish brill with crispy squid and potato salad

Fragrant steaming liquid and lush textural contrasts are the keys to Iain Grahams tempting main course salad
Cornish brill with crispy squid and potato salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 3 hrs chilling
  • Effort: easy


For the squid

  • 1 squid, thinly sliced into rings
  • 100 g cornflour, sifted
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the fish

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • ½ lemons, sliced, plus a little squeeze of lemon juice
  • 150 g fillet Cornish brill, skin and pin bones removed

For the warm dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 20 ml lemon juice
  • 20 ml chardonnay vinegar, or other white wine vinegar
  • 90 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the salad

  • 100 g baby potatoes
  • 50 g raw samphire, or very finely sliced fennel
  • 20 g red vein sorrel micro leaves or other micro leaves
  • 2 sprigs watercress
  • 3 leaves red chicory, roughly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, roughly sliced


1. For the squid: dust the squid rings with cornflour, then place on a plate and chill for at least 3 hours, uncovered.

2. For the fish: half-fill a deep saucepan with water, add the olive oil and bring to the boil. Add the basil, tarragon and lemon slices.

3. Season the brill with salt and freshly ground black pepper, squeeze some lemon over the top and brush with a little oil. Place the fillet in a steamer basket (on paper if liked) and set it over the pan of fragrant water. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (the flesh should be opaque and flake easily).

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy saucepan: the oil is hot enough for frying when a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden brown in 30 seconds. Deep-fry the squid rings in small batches for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper, then keep warm until ready to serve.

5. For the warm dressing: heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat and gently fry the shallots for 5-6 minutes, or until very soft but not coloured. Set aside.

6. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, then add the fried shallots, lemon juice and vinegar. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil, then remove the pan from the heat and leave the dressing to steep.

7. For the salad: steam the potatoes over a pan of boiling water for 15-20 minutes, or until tender, then set aside to cool in a bowl.

8. Place the samphire and red vein sorrel in a separate bowl and dress with some of the warm dressing. Pour the remaining dressing onto the potatoes, add the watercress, chicory and spring onion and toss.

9. To serve, spoon the potato salad in the centre of the serving plate and arrange the brill on top. Toss the fried squid with the samphire salad and arrange the mixture on top of the fish.

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