16 baby beetroot (beets), scrubbed
4 × 200 g blue-eye trevalla fillets, skin on, pin-boned
4 small, all-purpose potatoes (such as desiree), peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
100 ml ghee
80 g ricotta
2cm piece fresh horseradish
sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons lemon oil, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Add the beetroot and return to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30–40 minutes, until the beetroot are just cooked through. Remove from the heat and drain. Peel the beetroot when comfortable to handle, but still hot, discarding the skins, then set the beetroot aside in a warm place.
Place the trevalla fillets on a baking tray, skin side down. Arrange the potato slices on top of each fillet in slightly overlapping layers, to resemble fish scales. Turn the fish over, holding the potatoes in place, and press down gently to ensure the ‘scales’ stick. Trim around each fillet to remove any excess potato.
Heat a large heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan over medium–high heat until a haze appears. Add the ghee. Gently add the fillets, potato side down, and fry until the potato is lightly golden. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for a further 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently remove the skin from each fillet. Turn the fillets over to sear quickly in the still-hot pan, then leave to rest for 1 minute before serving.
Serve the fish, potato scales up, with the beetroot on the side. Top the beetroot with a scoop of ricotta then grate fresh horseradish over the ricotta and fish. Season with salt and finish with a splash of lemon oil.
Recipe and image from The Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook by John Susman, Anthony Huckstep, Sarah Swan and Stephen Hodges, Murdoch Books.