by Melissa Hemsley from Feel Good (Ebury Press)
Photography: Lizzie Mayson
A lovely dish to make when asparagus is in season. Out of season, swap the asparagus for green beans. I love this garlic-mayo-saffron sauce as it’s looser than mayonnaise, so not too rich. Saffron is expensive but it is oh-so-special and the tiniest amount goes a long way. As an alternative, stir ⅛ teaspoon each of smoked paprika and ground turmeric into your garlic mayo to add a kick of flavour and a great colour. This salad is fantastic with new potatoes, such as Jersey Royals, but use any type of potato that you like.
Serves 2 - Takes 30 minutes
1½ tbsp ghee or oil of your choice
300g potatoes (see introduction), scrubbed and cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 big handful of asparagus spears
2 handfuls of tender-stem broccoli
2 fillets of trout or other fish
½ lemon, sliced into 2 wedges
Sea salt and black pepper
3 saffron strands
2 tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, peeled
2 big handfuls of watercress, rocket or salad leaves
1 handful of fresh herbs (such as parsley and dill or mint), chopped
1. Preheat the oven to fan 200°C/gas mark 7, then place 1 tablespoon of the ghee in a large roasting tray and pop in the oven to heat up.
2. Remove the tray from the oven and toss the potatoes in the hot ghee, seasoning with salt and pepper, then spread out in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and broccoli. Snap off the ends of the asparagus spears (saving to use in soups or stocks) and slice any thick pieces of asparagus or broccoli in half lengthways.
4. Remove the tray from the oven, add the asparagus and broccoli and toss gently with the potatoes, then make two gaps big enough for the trout and add the fillets. Drizzle the remaining ghee over the trout and season with salt and pepper, then tuck in the lemon wedges and roast for about 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the saffron in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of hot water and leave to soak for 10 minutes before stirring it all into the mayonnaise. Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and use the back of your knife or a spoon to smoosh and smash the garlic into a paste before stirring this through the sauce.
6. Once the trout is cooked, divide the watercress or other leaves between two plates, serve up the fish and veg, spoon over the sauce, scatter over the herbs and squeeze over the roasted lemon wedges to finish.