1 Large skate wing
6 Local mussels + a few extra
100ml White wine
1 Shallot finely chopped
1 Clove of garlic finely chopped or 2 finely chopped ramsons leaves
Pinch of saffron
1 Large handful of baby spinach or seabeet
4cm ring of butternut squash
1 Small beetroot
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 tsp fresh dill
1 tsp salted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
For the salsa verde:
1 Handful of ramsons / wild garlic
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp mustard
½ tsp sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Few ramsons flowers to decorate and pink campion petals
Preparing the skate wing: To start off you will need to prepare the skate wing by trimming off the main bone with a sharp knife and tidying up the fanned edges (skirt) with a pair of scissors.
Preparing the vegetables: Prepare the vegetables by peeling the butternut squash and beetroot. Cut the butternut into chunks and boil in a saucepan for 5-8mintes until soft, and the water has completely evaporated.
Puree the butternut with a hand blender until smooth, and stain through a sieve to remove any lumpy bits.
Cut the beetroot into equal 1 ½ cm cubes and simmer with a little water on the hob until just soft for 5 – 8 minute, or roast it in the oven at 180 C with a little olive oil for 10 – 15 minutes.
Prepare the salsa verde: Finely chop the ramsons then add in the mustard, sugar, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir through until well combined.
Steaming the mussels: Make sure the mussels have been cleaned, the beard has been removed and are still alive. (By tapping them on a hard service they should close meaning they are still alive). Finely chop the garlic and shallots and place it in a saucepan with a little olive oil over a medium heat. Sauté this until the onion becomes opaque, then add the white wine and saffron. Cook for 1 minute with the lid off, then add the mussels and the juice of half a lemon, and a few leaves of chopped ramsons. Place the lid on the saucepan and steam over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Save the cooking liquor as this will be the sauce for the end dish. Discard any unopened mussels.
Pan fry the skate wing: Place a non-stick pan over a medium heat, drizzle with olive oil and add the skate wing. Cook this as a whole or cut into smaller pieces for 3 – 4 minutes a side until it starts to caramelize with a light brown colour. Add a knob of butter to the pan for a glossy finish and a touch of saltiness with a generous squeeze of lemon over the top. Pan fry a slice of lemon in the pan to add flavour and use as decoration with the finished dish. Wilt the spinach in the same pan once the skate is nearly cooked as this will take less than a minute to wilt.
- Assembling the dish: Plate this dish in a deep rimmed bowl which will create an extra effect on the eye and keep all the lovely cooking liquor in place. Using a pastry brush, brush a line of butternut squash ¾ of the way over the plate. Place the wilted spinach in the middle, then strategically add the beetroot cubes and steamed mussels. Place the skate wing on top of the wilted greens and add a spoon full of salsa verde on top. Spoon over the remaining mussel liquid and decorate with a slice of pan fried lemon, edible flowers and roughly torn dill.
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