Whitebait with Pickled Cucumber Salad and Lemon
Recipe by ©Ray McVinnie and Associates Ltd
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced into thin ribbons
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped chervil, plus extra sprigs for serving
salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 egg yolks
150ml Lupi extra virgin Olive oil
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
250g New Zealand whitebait
Lupi Olive oil for frying.
handful of perfect baby Cos leaves.
1. To make the salad, place the cucumber ribbons in a bowl. Add the teaspoon of salt and mix well. Reserve 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off the cucumber under plenty of cold running water. Squeeze dry and place in a dry bowl. Add the vinegar and chervil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and reserve.
2. To make the mayonnaise, place the egg yolks in a small bowl. Add the Lupi Olive oil drop by drop, stirring continually until you see the mixture become creamy and thick. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating the mixture vigorously until the oil is all used. Add the lemon zest and juice, taste and season. This is the mayo.
3. Put the whole eggs in a bowl with the baking powder and beat with a fork. Add the whitebait, season and beat well with a fork.
4. Heat some Lupi Olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat and fry spoonfuls until well cooked on each side. You should have 16. Remove and place on paper towel to drain. Do this in batches until the mixture is used. These are the fritters.
5. Serve the fritters on the Cos with the cucumber salad, mayo and extra chervil sprigs on top.
When making mayonnaise always add the oil slowly to ensure the mayonnaise doesn't split.
Salting the cucumber removes excess moisture.
Whitebait is extremely delicate so don't over cook the fritters.