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Seared Red Mullet with Tomatoes, Basil and Thyme Flower with a Warm Bitter Herb Vinaigrette Recipe
Seared Red Mullet with Tomatoes, Basil and Thyme Flower with a Warm Bitter Herb Vinaigrette
Jean-André Charial, Oustau de Baumanière, France
Jean-André Charial, Oustau de Baumanière, France
Flavors of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur
Total time: more than 2 hours

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Waiting time: 2 hours (green purée)

Difficulty: Average
For 6 servings

- 24 red mullet fillets
- 3 sheets of brick pastry
- 12 small green basil leaves
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) clarified butter

Marinade for the mullet
- 2 grated limes
- 150 ml (10 Tbsp.) lime juice
- 200 ml (3/4 cup) soy sauce
- 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil

Vinaigrette for the mullet
- 150 ml (10 Tbsp.) lime juice
- zest of 1 lime
- 100 ml (6 Tbsp.) soy sauce
- 100 ml (6 Tbsp.) olive oil
- 6 red mullet livers
- 4 chive blades
- 8 sprigs of chervil

Tapenade tube
- 2 sheets of brick pastry
- 15 g (1 Tbsp.) black olive tapenade
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cups) olive oil

Tomato tartare
- 3 fresh tomatoes
- 3 confit tomatoes, in petals
- 1 shallot
- 3 green basil leaves
- Fleur de sel
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 50 ml (3 Tbsp.) aged wine vinegar
- 70 ml (5 Tbsp.) olive oil

- 1 lemon preserved in salt
- 1 tsp. capers in vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. saté powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground Espelette chili

Green purée
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) rocket (arugula)
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) baby spinach
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 bunch of chervil
- 1/2 bunch tarragon
- 1/2 bunch marjoram
- Coarse salt
- 10 ice cubes

Tomato syrup
- 4 fresh tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 sprig of thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Sugar
- Olive oil
- 250 ml (1 cup) tomato juice
- Espelette chili
- 1 lemon
- 3 basil leaves

- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) rocket (arugula)
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) shizo (baby Asian greens)
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil

Red mullet fillets

  1. Trim and bone the fillets. On 12 of them, place a basil leave on the skin side. Brush with melted clarified butter.
  2. Place the fillets on a sheet of brick and cut around each of them. Refrigerate.
  3. Make thin incisions on the skin side of the other 12 fillets and set aside.
  4. Prepare the marinade by grating the lime zest and adding the remaining ingredients.

Tube and tomato tartare

  1. Cut the sheets of brick 1.2 cm wide and 10 cm long.
  2. Brush with tapenade and olive oil, cover with another strip of brick and brush again.
  3. Make 6 tubes, each made up of 2 thicknesses of brick, rolled around a copper tube. Bake for 6 minutes in a 250° C / 500° F oven. Unmold when cooled and set aside.
  4. Peel the fresh tomatoes; quarter and seed them. Dice the tomatoes and cut the confit tomatoes into fine dice.
  5. Chop the shallot and basil. Combine the ingredients at the last moment and season with aged wine vinegar, olive oil, fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper.


  1. Wash the greens, removing the stems.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.


  1. In a mortar, crush the various ingredients. Be sure to remove any lemon seeds before grinding.

Green purée

  1. Wash the herbs and remove the stems.
  2. Cook in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Drain; blend the hot herbs with ice cubes in a Thermomix or blender on high speed for 5 minutes.
  4. Recuperate the juice, spread it on paper towels and let drain for at least 2 hours. Recuperate the purée obtained, adjust the seasoning if necessary and set aside in a pipette.

Tomato syrup

  1. Halve the tomatoes; combine them with the salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, thyme and olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Sear in a sauté pan over high heat, then cook for 1 hour in a 150° C (300° F).
  3. Add the tomato juice and reduce, watching closely and removing once a syrup is formed.
  4. Infuse the syrup with the sliced lemon and basil leaves for 15 minutes; correct the seasoning and add a little Espelette chili. Once cooled, set aside in a pipette.


  1. Sear the fillets in brick in olive oil.
  2. Quickly sear the incised fillets on a hot griddle or non-stick pan, skin side down. Finish cooking in the marinade. This red mullet should be half-cooked.
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the ingredients with the chopped chives and chervil. Chop the mullet livers, sauté them briefly and incorporate them into the vinaigrette.


  1. Make a crisscross pattern on the plate with the green purée and tomato syrup.
  2. On the plate, place the tube with the seasoned tomato tartare inside and on top the little salad mixture (previously dressed).
  3. Add 2 fillets cooked in brick and 2 seared half-cooked seared fillets; add a little vinaigrette to the latter.
  4. Make a little quenelle of condiment and add to the plate.
  5. Add a little fleur de sel and olive oil to the fillets cooked in brick.
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