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Recipe: Swordfish with Celeriac Purée & Pickled Zucchini

Image source: Contributed

Congratulations to Whisky Boy owners Geoffroy Marcq and Jimmy Talve on their 5th birthday! To celebrate, we asked Geoffroy to share one of his favourite recipes. “This is a simple dish that even the kids can enjoy,” he said. “I tried to trick it up a bit with a house-made preserved lime and the pickled zucchini wheels to resemble scales. Keep it fresh and full of flavour, something good for summer and winter, just change around the vegetables.”

Pan fried swordfish, celeriac purée, pickled zucchini & watercress salad, nasturtium oil

Celeriac Purèe

1 kilo celeriac, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes

3 cups of milk

300ml of thickened cream

100 grams shallots, coarsely chopped

40 grams butter

1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt

1 lemon juice


In a large, heavy-based saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer very gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30-35 minutes or until the celeriac is tender enough to mash with a spoon.

Working in batches and using a slotted spoon, transfer the celeriac and shallots to a blender (preferably a high-powered one) and blend until smooth, adding enough of the cooking liquids to form a very thick, creamy and completely smooth purée. Transfer to a serving bowl, reserve.

Pickled Zucchini & Watercress Salad

2 medium zucchinis

2 bunches of baby watercress

Half head of radicchio

1 teaspoon preserved limes (or lemons)

Nasturtium petals

Nasturtium oil


2 tablespoons coarse salt

250ml of apple cider vinegar

2 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed

1 ½ teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin


Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the zucchini into fine wheels, transfer it to a colander set in a bowl. Toss well with salt. Refrigerate for one hour.

Meanwhile, bring vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil in a medium saucepan stirring. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Rinse zucchini well, and drain. Pat dry between paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl; pour hot brine over, let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

For the salad mix, drain pickled zucchini with 2 bunches of washed baby watercress, half head of radicchio, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped preserved limes (or lemons) skin and a few petals of fresh nasturtiums. Dress with a little bit of the pickling liquids and olive oil.

Heat a heavy nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add olive oil. Place the fish in the pan, laying them down away from your body. Press down gently with a spatula for about 20 seconds to prevent curling.

Lower heat to medium and let sizzle until fish is golden and caramelised around the edges about 1-2 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and add 2 tablespoons of butter and thyme to pan. Tilt pan slightly to let the melted butter pool at the end. Use a spoon to baste the fish with the pooled butter. Continue basting until golden all over and cooked through, 45-90 seconds. Serve immediately with some pickled zucchini wheels over the fish to resemble scales.

For plating, put 2-3 tablespoons of hot celeriac purée in the middle of the plate, place the cooked fish lightly on one side and the salad next to and over the fish. Add nasturtium oil to finish.

About the Author /

Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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