Charred Broccolini and Trout 'Tonnato'
For the trout ‘tonnato’:
1 egg yolk
¾ cup olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1 tin of rainbow trout, gently mashed
Salt and lemon to taste
For the broccolini:
1 bunch broccoli
Salt and lemon to taste
Calabrian chili oil to serve
For the trout tonnato:
This is essentially a recipe for making mayonnaise, with the addition of capers and tinned trout making it the perfect kin to a traditional tonnato.
The key to making mayonnaise without someone else having to assist you is having a bowl that is heavy enough that it won’t spin as you’re whisking. I use a large stone mortar with great success.
Add your egg yolk, mustard, and a pinch of salt to your heaviest bowl. Whisk to emulsify. Now, drop by tiny drop add your olive oil, stirring all the while with your free hand. I’ve found that the best way to do this successfully is to use a bottle with a pour spout to gradually add the oil. Make sure you’re not using a bottle that is too large for you to comfortably handle. I use a 375 ml bottle.
As you continue slowly adding oil, you’ll notice that the mixture will become gradually paler and thicker. Once this initial stage of emulsification has been tackled, you can start adding the olive oil in a gentle stream - still stirring all the while! Keep adding oil until your mayonnaise is too thick to continue whisking with ease. You will be impressed by how much oil one single egg yolk can hold. The recipe calls for ¾ cup of olive oil, but you may need to use less or more depending on the size of your egg yolk.
Add a good squeeze of lemon, and stir to combine. At this stage you’ve made mayonnaise! Bravo! All that’s left to do is to add the capers and mashed trout. Mix this well to combine, and give it a taste. You want it to be bright and luscious. Add more lemon and salt if the flavors don’t pop.
Traditionally tonnato is rather smooth, but I prefer mine to be a bit more textured. If you prefer yours smoother, you can give the sauce a quick blitz in a blender.
For the charred broccolini:
You will need a large frying pan that has a tight fitting lid for this technique.
Heat your frying pan over high heat until it is quite hot. Add a glug of oil, then add the broccolini and season with a pinch of salt. Immediately cover with the lid and leave be for 3 minutes. I call this method steam charring - the high heat allows the broccolini to char, and the trapped steam allows it to cook till tender before getting burnt to oblivion. After about 3 minutes, give the broccolini a good toss. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove the lid and taste a piece. I prefer mine to be quite al dente and find that 5 minutes is all it takes, but if you prefer yours a bit softer then simply cook for another few minutes. Once it’s cooked to your liking, remove it from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt to season.
To assemble, add the ‘tonnato’ to a large plate. With the back of a spoon, schmear the tonnato to cover the surface of your chosen plate. Cover with the charred broccolini and finish with a drizzle of calabrian chili oil.