“Think quick – our fish guy is wasted”. Salmon Caponata and Sourdough

Italian Caponata
Mid-Week Mix up

I’m usually up around 5.30am every morning, I eat yogurt and fruit, I run through my Tai Chi form and I wander around in the garden assassinating as many weeds as I can. My kitchen garden is now in full belt and the dominant force is the stone cold fantastic rocket, it grows like it’s planning to take over and scything a bunch of it each morning is serious tonic.

In between murderous split-shifts at the restaurant where I learned life, love the universe and everything the 2nd Chef and I used to skulk off to the restaurant’s back yard, smoke Marlboro reds and talk evening specials….often supplemented with plans for murderous drinking exploits after service…….well…in truth these murderous drinking exploits would in fact start when service started and continue long after it ended. On average a 2×2 litre bottle of cheap cider was secreted behind one of our stand up fridges and was regularly drained at intervals of 15 minutes as we coursed through service without dent, sweat or blood…we were known as  the ‘Perfect Storms’ by the waitresses.

During said back yard discussions though we would dream up specials for the menu that evening….99% of the time these specials were derived from something incredible our fish guy would come in with on top the usual salmon, turbot and anything with a shell. Sea Bass and Bream were always huge sellers and easy to spin up a mouth-watering special from but on occasion our fish guy would get plastered at the dock and forget to even show at the restaurant meaning we had to really work hard at dreaming up something even remotely special!

This Salmon Caponata with Sourdough was one of those inventions which after only one night on the specials board became a permanent fixture and sought out by people from over 2000  miles away (that’s another story by the way)…….it’s amazing what can be done when smokes, booze and a wasted  fish guy are combined………a perfect storm.

WHAT YOU NEED – serves 2

Salmon – preferably cooked and cooled left overs

1 medium aubergine

1 medium red onion

1 medium courgette

2 sweet red pepper

1/2 glass of white wine

2 cloves garlic – minced

fresh oregano

fresh flat leaf parsley

Pinch of chili flakes

Thick sourdough slices

1/2 can of quality chopped tomatoes


Step1: Start by flaking the salmon and leaving in the fridge, then seed and rough chop the peppers, aubergine, courgette and onion. Toss all of the veg together with some olive oil in a large bowl.

Step2: Next get a wide deep milk pan on the heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the garlic, when the garlic begins to sizzle sling in  the wine, reduce a little then in with the veg and saute for about 10 minutes until everything is really soft and the mix has taken on a deep warm colour.

Step3: Turn the heat way down then add the tomatoes, oregano and great belt of seasoning and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Step4: To serve ladle the Caponata into a military white dish, top with the flaked salmon and wedge in the sourdough……then charge 20 quid for it 🙂







3 thoughts on ““Think quick – our fish guy is wasted”. Salmon Caponata and Sourdough

    1. So our Restaurant was a big pull for golfers especially French golfers. A couple from Provence that were on a golfing holiday dropped in, had the Caponata and 3 weeks later a request for a sample landed on our door mat. They owned a restaurant but couldn’t get the recipe right so they were asking us to Fedex a sample for their chef!!

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