Pan-Roasted East Coast Skate, Anchovy and Broccoli Pickle
Portion/Yield:Serves 2 as a main course
Nothing beats a delicious, pan-roasted fresh skate wing, with a crisp and golden exterior encasing the delicate, flaky and succulent flesh beneath. The British Larder’s values and beliefs are that we choose to only buy ingredients from people who care about food in the same way that we do. Our fish comes from selected suppliers who practice and follow sustainable fishing methods and guidelines. They also bluntly admit when there is no fish to catch or sell to us due to stock levels, but when it is there we are one of the very lucky few to get our hands on fabulous fish, such as skate.
I had never seen a whole skate ray until Bill Pinney, a local fisherman from Orford, came in with one of these beauties. This did then urge me to learn a bit more about this wonderful fish. As skate is a meaty fish, I serve it simply with an easy and delicious homemade seasonal pickle that is made in minutes.
Ingredients & Method
For the anchovy and purple sprouting broccoli pickle
- 100g purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed
- 100g kale, stalks removed
- 8 anchovy fillets in oil (preferably silverskin), drained and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
- 80g pitted green olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as tarragon, chives and parsley
- 1/2 fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 80ml extra virgin olive oil
- 25ml sherry vinegar
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the pan-roasted skate
- 2 skate wings (about 450–500g each)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
First, make the pickle. Blanch the broccoli and kale in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes or until just tender. Drain, refresh in iced water, then drain again thoroughly. Roughly chop the broccoli and shred the kale, then place both in a bowl. Add all the remaining pickle ingredients, mixing well, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes (see Cook’s Note).
Meanwhile, for the skate, season the skate wings on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until it is warm but not smoking hot (you will need a frying pan that is large enough to cook both skate wings at the same time). Add the butter and when it has melted and starts to foam, add the fish, presentation-side down first, and pan-fry for 5–6 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for a further 5–6 minutes or until golden brown and the flesh is flaky and soft. Remember, as this fish still has the bone in, make sure it’s cooked through, but don’t overcook it.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave the skate to rest in the pan for 2 minutes. Transfer the skate to serving plates and serve with the anchovy and purple sprouting broccoli pickle spooned over. Serve immediately with boiled new potatoes or baked fennel.
The pickle is best eaten freshly made, as it does not keep well.