This is a simple dish, making the best of each ingredient. How many of us buy celery for a ragu and then have twice as much languishing about in the larder for two weeks? Guilty! One great use of it is in a creamy salad like this blue cheese and walnut one. Alternatively I found this way of treating it like a lot of woody vegetables and braised it. On its own it was still quite bland, but eaten together with the sauce and roasted hazelnuts, it was quite stunning. I can’t recommend you try it enough. The black grape sauce sounds fancy buts it is nothing more than a darker red wine sauce. Just started from source with the black grapes rather than wasting wine! It is a lot fruitier than a red wine sauce that would be served with meat. Don’t think of it in those terms!
It’s very rare I ever go off piste from cooking, but feel obliged to share a couple of things from last week with you. Firstly, these crocuses which came up in the garden last week. To the day, exactly the same time as last year. I find that kind of freaky, but they are so pretty. I wonder if i can eat them?
Secondly, we were very lucky to get tickets to one of Adeles first gigs last week. She’s doing 104 shows, I think ours was number five. Good luck to her. She was brilliant, completely hilarious too. If anyone wants to go or is going its a great nights entertainment. So nice to see an amazing voice at it’s best, no distractions.
- 1 Fillet/person Sea Bass
- 1 root/person Celery
- 2/person Scallops
- 50g Roasted Hazelnuts
- 1 Red onion
- 300g Black Grapes
- 100ml Port
- 50g Butter
- 4/5 Stalks. Thyme
- Make the sauce by softening the onion in some butter. Add the port and grapes, then simmer for 30minutes until reduced by half. Blitz to a puree and sieve out any remaining skins.
- For the celery, trim in half and cut three inches long. Add 200ml water, thyme, butter and a splash of white wine and a good pinch of salt. Simmer and cover with a cartouche for 30mins, letting the sauce reduce and emulsify.
- When ready to serve, fry the sea bass-skin side down- for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and flip the fish over followed by a squeeze of lemon. In a separate pan, cook the scallops on a high heat for 1 minute a side.