As we approach Christmas, I thought I'd take a little look at fish in Scotland. I was on a Guild of Food Writers visit recently to Billingsgate market in London and it was fascinating to see all the different sorts of fish and shellfish. It was also interesting listening to the market people talking about the quality of fish from the West coast and Argyll, and how it’s perceived so highly at the market. Scottish lobsters, crab, scallops and mussels are quite simply the best!!
The big disappointment from my point of view is the fact that although over 140 species come through Billingsgate, the great British shopper only buys, in the main, 5 different varieties! This includes salmon, prawns, cod and haddock, so come on great British shopper, let’s look closer at what is available. Next year I will be doing recipes for such things as bass, hake, coley, mackerel and of course fabulous Argyll shellfish. However, here is a simple idea for your Christmas first course. It is taken from my little Beetroot book and is easy to prepare in advance and because it is smoked salmon, it's easily obtainable. Do look at the website of many of our members as mail order smoked fish is available from several, get some Christmas ideas from them!
In this smoked salmon with beetroot and lime relish recipe, the dill and cucumber provide a sort of Scandinavian influence and boy does the smoked salmon work with the earthy beetroot. It is colourful and crunchy - a delicious first course.
1/2 tblsp runny honey
1 tblsp finely chopped dill
1 lime grated and juiced
255g boiled beetroot (please cook your own NOT supermarket ready cooked!)
1/2 peeled cucumber
Salt and pepper
300g sliced smoked salmon
Recipe: Christopher Trotter
Food Photography: Caroline Trotter