Ingredients for 4 people
500 g of amberjack fish, 2 fennels, 2 green apples, 1 lemon, ½ pomegranate, salt,
pepper ,olive oil, anchovy oil.
Clean the amberjack,, fillet it and cut it up into small pieces. Cut the fennel
into small pieces too and peel the apples. Dress the amberjack with salt, pepper
and lemon, the same should happen to the fennel, whereas the apple should only
be flavored with the lemon. Position the apples in the plate and then put above
bowl, fill half with the fennel pieces and then cover that with the amberjack,
garnish with apple julienne and pomegranate. Drizzle everything with anchovy oil
and olive oil.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed that a fish
like this could have been caught between Punta Campanella and Capri, but Antonio
took it immediately to the kitchen, that beautiful amberjack, that must have weighed
15 kilos, he brought it straight to me, it was the end of October, and you could
smell the oranges and pomegranates in the air. This amberjack is an elegant predator
between August and September as they follow the shoals of garfish along the rocky
coasts, and in particular along the shallows as they submerge from the deep. There
are still probably bigger examples of this fish around the island of Capri waiting
to be discovered.
An old legend tells us of some fishermen who used to spend a lot of days at sea.
One fine day, the sailor whose job it was to prepare the meals, was feeling very
tired and didn’t realize that it was almost lunch time when he woke up from his
slumber. He was worried about what his fellow fishermen would do to him if they
discovered that there was nothing to eat so he began to cut the fish up really
quickly, but just as he was doing that a huge wave shook the boat and let fall
some salt onto the fish, he didn’t have any water at that time so he decided to
rinse the fish with some lemon juice that Giovanni the cabin boy kept for his
own uses, he then saw that the fish had begun to change color, it had “started
to cook”, and as it was really late he thought that he could put that in the plates
and cover it with some green vegetables. The sailors arrived, tired and famished,
they sat down at the table, they began eating and they wondered what on earth
had been cooked for them, then the sailor became emotional and explained that
this was a dish that his dear mother, who he hadn’t seen for some days now, had
often cooked for him. And so, through joy and emotion this dish was created, and
it is still prepared today with all the delicious smells and tastes that our region
can so well provide.