Braised Baby Leeks & Olives, Poached Snapper, Aïoli & Crisp Pancetta
Fish / Autumn / Natalia Schamroth / Serves: 4


1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the leeks

2 tablespoons butter
16 baby leeks, ends trimmed
12 cloves garlic
2 sprigs lemon thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry white wine
1-2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup best-quality black olives
1 lemon, quartered

For the snapper

700g snapper fillet, skinned and boned
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
12 thin slices pancetta, dry-fried until crisp


We couldn't find 'baby leeks' but used small leeks instead.

The aïoli uses half the ingredients of the original recipe and a slightly different method.

If the aïoli separates set it aside and start again with another egg yolk and the remaining oil. When you have used all the oil whisk in the separated mixture.


Issue 121
March 2007


In a soup plate use a fork to whisk the oil into the egg yolk. Add the oil drop by drop, whisking continuously.
Mix through the garlic and mustard, then whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar.
Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Melt the butter in an ovenproof pan large enough to accommodate the leeks.
Add the leeks and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaf and white wine.
Simmer briskly until the wine has reduced by half.
Pour in enough stock to just cover the leeks.
Add the olives and lemon, cover with a cartouche (piece of baking paper cut to fit) and transfer to a low oven (160°C) for 35 minutes or until the leeks are completely tender.


Season the snapper well with salt, pepper and lemon zest.
Drop the snapper into the pan with the leeks, spoon the braising liquid over and simmer over a gentle heat until the snapper is just cooked through.
Transfer the leeks, olives and snapper to serving plates, discarding the lemon quarters.
Place the fried pancetta on the fish and serve with a dollop of aïoli