Citrus-Cured Steelhead and Roe with Blood Orange, Olives, and Tarragon Aioli

Source: Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated on February 19, 2011

Serves 8


Citrus Cure
2 Meyer lemons
1 blood orange
½ cup chopped chervil
1 pound steelhead fillet
1¼ cup sugar
1¼ cup salt

Tarragon Aioli
2 very small slivers of garlic
2 egg yolks
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup tarragon, chopped
Lemon juice, to taste

Cured Steelhead Roe
Large pot of water
1 roe sack

Blood Orange and Olive Salad
½ cup shallots, minced
½ cup blood orange juice
4 medium blood oranges
½ cup Gaeta olives, pitted
1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon mint, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste



For the citrus cure

  1. Zest Meyer lemons and blood orange. Mix zest with chervil. This mixture will be the crust for the fish. Gently roll the fillet in the herb mixture. Pat off any excess.
  2. Combine salt and sugar. On a sheet pan, use half of the salt/sugar mixture to make a thin layer. Place the fillet on top of it and cover it with the remaining half of the mixture. Refrigerate up to six hours.
  3. Remove the fish from the curing mixture and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with a paper towel. The fish should have a firm texture and slightly translucent appearance. Thinly slice and reserve.

For the aioli

Pound garlic into paste.  In a medium bowl, mix garlic paste with yolks. Slowly add the oils in a thin stream, beating constantly until light and creamy. Once a firm emulsion has been obtained, fold in tarragon. Taste and add lemon juice as desired.

For the roe

  1. Put pot over a medium flame and heavily season water with salt. It should taste like the sea. Bring up to 115º.
  2. Add roe sack and gently massage back and forth until eggs are released from the sack and the outer membrane floats to the top. Strain eggs and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the salad

  1. In a small bowl, cover shallots with blood orange juice. Let them sit for at least an hour to remove the harsh onion flavor.
  2. Using a pairing knife, remove pith and skins from oranges. Slice the cleaned oranges into rounds, removing any seeds.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix orange rounds and olives. Season with one spoonful of macerated shallots, a little olive oil and a sprinkling of the chopped herbs. Let this stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

To plate

Smear a bit of the aioli down on each plate. Remix the citrus salad. Plate a spoonful of the salad on each plate, trying to achieve height. Place some of the thin slices of cured fish on top. Sprinkle the roe around the base and garnish with a few leaves from the greens.

Farmers Market Ingredients