Red Mullet Hearts with Prawn Butterflies and Sweet Peppers

Alex Mackay uses pro-chefs' tricks to give a stunning finish to this tasty supper of seafood cloaked in herby grapefruit sauce
By Alex Mackay
Red Mullet Hearts with Prawn Butterflies and Sweet Peppers
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the sweet peppers

  • 2 red peppers, seeds removed, cut into 1.5cm chunks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt

For the red mullet

  • 250 ml pink grapefruit juice
  • 4 large fillets red mullet
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 12 green tiger prawns, peeled and intestinal threads removed
  • cayenne pepper
  • 2 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 1 mild fresh red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
  • 10 basil


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. Put the diced peppers into a shallow saucepan with the olive oil, honey, vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water. Cover and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and boil for another 3-4 minutes or until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add salt to taste and leave to cool.

3. Cut the red mullet filets in half at an angle. Lightly oil an oven proof tray and lay the filet halves together, trimming to make them into heart shapes.

4. Slice the prawns almost (but not quite) all the way through to open them like butterflies. Place them, opened out, on the tray with the red mullet, trickle a little olive oil over everything and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Bake in the hot oven for 5-6 minutes until just cooked through.

5. Meanwhile, bring the pink grapefruit juice to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add 50ml olive oil and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the grapefruit segments, chopped chilli and basil.

6. To serve, press the cooked peppers into a heart-shaped mould and invert onto serving plates. Top the peppers with the red mullet heart, surround each portion with 3 tiger prawns and spoon the grapefruit sauce over the top.

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