Grilled yellowtail with preserved lemon, mint & Puy lentil salsa

Courtesy Peter Goffe-Wood from Kitchen Cowboys in Salt River and a Master chef SA judge


  • 6 x 180g pieces wild-caught yellowtail fillet
  • 125ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml (1 cup) green Puy lentils
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 preserved lemon (recipe below)
  • 125 ml (½ cup) pitted green olives
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 60 g mint
  • 120 g rocket
  • Salt & pepper

Preserved Lemons
  • 6 lemons
  • 125 ml (½ cup) lemon juice
  • 250 ml (1 cup) salt


  • Put the lentils in a saucepan with the bulb of garlic and the red chilli and cover with water.
  • Simmer the lentils for approximately 40 minutes until soft.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and leave the lentils to cool in their cooking liquid.
  • Chop the red pepper, red onion, cucumber and olives into a neat dice, roughly the same size as the lentils.
  • Remove the rind of the preserved lemon and dice.
  • Drain the lentils, remove the garlic and chilli and add all of the chopped vegetables together with the lemon juice and the rest of the olive oil.
  • Roughly chop the mint and add to the salad then season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook fillets side down on a braai grid over a hot fire or in a searing hot skillet.
  • Cook the fish for a couple of minutes on each side and then remove from the heat.
  • Place the rocket in the middle of the plate, put a piece of fish on top of the rocket and spoon the salsa liberally over the fish.
  • Garnish with a hefty drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Preserved Lemon Preparation
  • Cut the lemons as if to quarter them but don’t cut through the base so the quarters remain intact at the bottom.
  • Fill the lemons with the salt and place them in a glass jar.
  • Pour in the lemon juice and seal the jar.
  • Turn the lemons occasionally so that they are all evenly submerged in the brine.
  • Keep the lemons in the fridge for six weeks before they are ready to use.
  • When they are ready cut away everything expect the rind. This is the only part that is usable as the flesh and pith will be too salty. This rind when diced or cut into strips gives a fantastic zing to salsas and dip as well as a subtly seasoning when added to soups and stews.