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Recipe for Fish with Turnips in Saffron Sauce

A main course very popular with the Romans

  • 6 whole herring or mackerel, gutted (or 4 cod fillets)
  • 4 turnips, grated almonds or pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml white wine
  • 150ml water
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp laurel (bay) berries (or juniper berries)
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • First peel the turnips and boil until soft.
  • Pour off the excess water and mash them with butter.
  • Spread this mash on a serving plate.
  • Fillet the fish and poach them lightly in a mix of white wine, water and olive oil (should take about 15 minutes).
  • Remove them from the stock and place on top of the mashed turnips. Reserve the stock to make the saffron sauce.

    To make the Saffron Sauce

  • Grind together the cumin and laurel (or juniper) berries in a pestle and mortar.
  • Combine this with the white wine, honey, about 60ml of the fish stock and the olive oil.
  • Bring to the boil and turn down the heat.
  • Add the cornflour and whisk in to mix.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes to thicken, add a pinch of saffron for colour and pour over the fish.
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