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Recipe: Hake in Carpione

31 August 2016 at 12:50


Autumn approaches and thoughts of more robust dishes and comfort foods. However native oysters come back into season this month, so I shall be thinking about them as we move into winter. But let us not lose sight of summer too quickly! For the last three years I have produced a little vegetable book in October; first came beetroot with 30 recipes and photographs (taken by my wife Caroline) which did very well and then followed by Courgette and last year it was Kale, so this year it is Carrot and I am going to share a recipe with you before the book comes out in October! Here is Hake in Carpione.

Carpione means simply soused or pickled, but vinegar is the thing.  However, carrot and its natural sweetness cuts through the vinegar allowing the magnificent and underestimated hake to sing. One of my much admired chefs, Rowley Leigh, suggests this as a picnic dish, so summer is not over yet! A picnic on one of those Argyll beaches, perfect!


750g hake fillet
1 tsp smoked Hebridean sea salt
3 shallots
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
150ml white wine vinegar
150ml olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
200g baby carrots or Chantenay
200g spring onions


  1. Cut the hake into small 60g pieces, and season with the smoked salt.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the shallots and place in a pan with the chilli, vinegar, oil, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, and then pour over the fish. Allow to cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Blanche and refresh the carrots and spring onions and place in a bowl. Carefully place the fish on top and add a spoonful or two of the marinade. Chill until ready to serve.


Recipe by Christopher Trotter
Food Photography by Caroline Trotter