hake salad

Sumptuous Summer Hake Salad Unveiled

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Updated on March 20, 2024

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Is it possible for a salad to encapsulate the essence of summer? The theory is put to the test with the unveiling of the Sumptuous Summer Hake Salad. It’s a harmonious blend of fresh, seasonal produce and expertly cooked hake, promising a tantalizing taste experience.

Every ingredient, from the heritage tomatoes to the green olive tapenade, is chosen to highlight the sweet, delicate flavor of the hake salad. Yet, there’s more to this dish than meets the eye – the methods of preparation and presentation are equally compelling.

To fully appreciate this culinary masterpiece, one must explore its intricate details.

Summer Salad Ingredients


Gathering the freshest ingredients for the Summer Hake Salad is the initial step to creating this vibrant and flavourful dish. The selection of seasonal produce is crucial, offering not just optimal flavour, but also ensuring the highest nutritional value. The salad’s star, heritage tomato varieties, bring a spectrum of colours and bursting freshness. Complementing the tomatoes, char-grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas add heartiness and depth of flavour.

The dish is garnished with green olive tapenade, adding a briny kick that pairs impeccably with the fish. The presentation, an integral part of the culinary experience, allows for a beautiful showcase of these fresh ingredients on the plate. Careful consideration of the flavour pairings creates a harmonious balance, making this salad an embodiment of summer’s bounty.

Choosing the Perfect Hake

hake salad

While the selection of fresh produce sets the stage for this dish, it’s the perfectly cooked hake that truly steals the show.

Selecting quality, fresh hake is a crucial step in crafting this summery culinary delight. When choosing hake, one should look for firm, unblemished flesh that glistens with moisture and has a fresh, sea-breezy aroma. Avoid fish with a sour or overly fishy smell – these are signs of spoilage. The eyes should be clear and bright, not dull or sunken, while the gills should be a vibrant red.

Once procured, it’s about employing optimal cooking techniques to accentuate the hake’s delicate flavor and ensure a perfectly flaky texture. Remember, mastery of this dish begins with the perfect hake.

Hake Preparation Steps

hake salad

Preparing the hake properly is fundamental to the success of this dish, and it begins with a thorough seasoning of the fish, using just salt. The simplicity of the fish seasoning allows the natural flavors of the hake to shine through.

Once seasoned, the hake is cooked undisturbed in a medium-hot pan with light olive oil. This cooking technique allows a crust to form, sealing in the fish’s juices. The hake is then finished in the oven with butter and lemon juice for flavor enhancement.

The key is to pay attention to the color change, from translucent to opaque white, indicating that the hake is cooked perfectly. Proper hake preparation and cooking techniques are crucial in creating a sumptuous summer hake salad.

Artichokes and Chickpeas Preparation

hake salad

In crafting this vibrant summer salad, the preparation of the char-grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas is as crucial as the hake itself. Grilled vegetables like artichokes bring smoky undertones, enhancing the overall Mediterranean flavors of the dish.

To prepare, one must first clean and trim the artichokes before char-grilling them to perfection. Concurrently, the chickpeas, having been soaked and boiled, are spiced with cumin, paprika, and a touch of chili for a warm, earthy kick. It’s important to remember that the chickpeas should remain firm, yet tender to the bite, ensuring textural diversity in the salad.

The pairing of char-grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas not only adds a delightful complexity but also provides a hearty, nutritious base. This tandem is the cornerstone of our summer hake salad, marrying health and taste seamlessly.

Making the Green Olive Tapenade

hake salad

Having explored the preparation of artichokes and chickpeas, we now turn our attention to the creation of the green olive tapenade, a vital component that imparts a tangy, briny flavor to our summer hake salad.

The tapenade, a Provençal dish, traditionally consists of puréed olives, capers, anchovies, and olive oil. Its variations can include ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, or herbs, offering a wonderful opportunity for flavor pairing.

When considering artichoke accompaniments, the rich, earthy flavors of the tapenade beautifully offset the artichoke’s natural bitterness. For chickpea alternatives, consider using the tapenade as a robust spread on crusty bread. The balance of salty, tangy, and savory elements in the tapenade can elevate the simplest dishes to gourmet status. Experiment with olive tapenade variations to find your perfect blend.

Creating the Saffron Aioli

hake salad

Crafting the saffron aioli introduces another layer of complexity and richness to our summer hake salad. For those ambitious in the kitchen, exploring saffron aioli variations can be an excellent avenue for creativity. Perhaps consider adding a hint of citrus or a dash of cayenne for a twist.

Creative aioli recipes often involve unique combinations, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember, the key to a great aioli lies in the balance of its ingredients. The luxurious saffron, aromatic garlic, and the right oil blend together to create a velvety, vibrant sauce.

For aioli presentation, think of it as the plate’s artist’s palette. It can be elegantly drizzled or artistically smeared. Aioli serving suggestions typically involve using it as a base for arranging the other components of the dish.

Organizing Your Plate

When it’s time to assemble your summer hake salad, the organization of your plate plays a pivotal role in the overall presentation and appeal of the dish. Plate presentation is an art form that demands keen attention to detail.

Start by visualizing your plate as a canvas and the dish ingredients as your palette. Color contrast is key in making the dish visually appealing. The vibrant hues of heritage tomatoes, char-grilled artichokes, and spiced chickpeas against the white of the hake create an inviting color contrast.

The garnish arrangement should be done strategically, ensuring an even distribution that complements the main ingredient, the hake. Remember, a well-organized plate not only enhances visual appeal but also elevates the dining experience.

Garnishing Your Hake Salad

Building on the concept of an organized plate, the garnishing of your hake salad is an essential step that further enhances the dish’s visual appeal and flavor profile.

To begin, the art of garnishing requires a fine balance between aesthetics and flavor combinations. Visionary presentation techniques can transform your salad into a visual masterpiece, while careful seasoning tips ensure that each ingredient shines.

Consider the use of fresh herbs, such as baby coriander, to add a pop of color and a hint of earthiness. Ingredient substitutions, like swapping char-grilled artichokes for marinated ones, can add a creative twist to your dish.

Enhancing the Salad’s Flavor

To truly elevate the flavors in your Summer Hake Salad, there are several key steps and ingredients to consider. Flavor combinations play a crucial role. For instance, the acidity of heritage tomatoes pairs well with the rich, grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas, creating a delightful balance of flavors. Presentation techniques also boost the overall appeal of the salad. Layering the ingredients strategically not only enhances visual appeal but also ensures an exciting flavor profile in every bite.

Ingredient substitutions offer opportunities for creativity and seasonal variations. Swapping out ingredients based on what’s fresh and available can introduce new, exciting flavors. For instance, substituting hake with another white fish during off-seasons, or experimenting with different types of heirloom tomatoes, can keep the salad vibrant and interesting.

Coriander Pesto and Olive Oil

hake salad

Coriander pesto, a vibrant blend of fresh coriander leaves and aromatic spices, infuses the Summer Hake Salad with a burst of herbaceous flavor, while a drizzle of arbequin olive oil lends a subtle, fruity note that ties all the ingredients together beautifully. This coriander pesto doesn’t merely act as a salad dressing but an integral part of the dish, adding depth and complexity to the salad’s overall palate.

The coriander pesto is easy to prepare, requiring only a handful of ingredients, including fresh coriander, garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese, and arbequin olive oil. The pesto and olive oil’s partnership creates a harmonious balance, enhancing the salad’s freshness while adding an indulgent richness. This combination elevates the Summer Hake Salad, making it a true culinary delight.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Hake

Achieving the perfect hake for your Summer Salad involves a few key steps that ensure a beautifully cooked fish with a delightful crisp skin.

The hake cooking techniques begin with seasoning the fish with salt only before cooking it in a medium-hot pan with light olive oil. It’s crucial to let the fish cook undisturbed to form a crust.

Then, finish cooking the hake in the oven, adding butter and lemon juice for a flavorful fish dish. Check for a color change to an opaque white before removing it from the heat.

Plating Your Summer Salad

Once you’ve perfectly cooked your hake, the next crucial step is artfully plating your Summer Salad to create a visually appealing dish that’s as delightful to the eye as it’s to the palate. Begin with a base of saffron aioli, followed by layered heritage tomatoes that provide a colorful presentation.

Next, position the hake alongside char-grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas, making use of plating techniques that create a harmonious balance. The green olive tapenade adds a vibrant contrast, highlighting the seasonal ingredients. Flavorful combinations of these elements not only enhance the taste but also the aesthetic allure of the salad.

Adding the Final Touches

To impart a final flourish to your Summer Hake Salad, consider a drizzle of arbequin olive oil and a sprinkle of baby coriander for added texture and flavor. These flavorful drizzle options not only enhance the taste profile of your dish but also add a visually appealing gloss to the salad.

Additionally, consider the presentation techniques for the final touches. A thoughtful arrangement of the ingredients can transform the dish from ordinary to gourmet. For instance, neatly placing the hake on the bed of heritage tomatoes and chickpeas, then garnishing with char-grilled artichokes, adds an aesthetic appeal.

Serving Your Summer Hake Salad

After you’ve added the final touches to your Summer Hake Salad, it’s essential to consider how best to serve this vibrant, flavorful dish to truly showcase its array of textures and flavors.

A masterful presentation technique involves carefully layering each element, starting with a base of saffron aioli. The heritage tomatoes, dressed in a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, come next, followed by the beautifully cooked hake. The char-grilled artichokes and spiced chickpeas are arranged around the fish, lending a warm contrast to the cool salad accompaniments.

A final drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of baby coriander complete the dish. The marriage of these flavor combinations ensures your Summer seafood dish is as visually appealing as it’s delicious.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Alternative Fish Options if Hake Is Not Available?

If hake isn’t available, one can substitute with cod, halibut, or haddock. They’re all similar in taste and texture, providing the same nutritional benefits as hake, such as being high in protein and low in fat.

It’s important to note that sourcing these alternatives responsibly is key, ensuring sustainable fishing practices are used. This ensures not just the health of our oceans, but the quality of the fish we’re consuming.

Can I Prepare the Components of the Salad in Advance and Assemble It Later?

Yes, they can prepare the salad components in advance. Chilled storage techniques keep ingredients fresh.

They’d want to store the salad dressing choices separately to prevent sogginess. The hake, once cooked, should be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

It’s best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain optimum texture and flavor. So, they’ll have a delicious, fresh salad, even if prepped ahead of time.

Are There Any Specific Types of Tomatoes That Work Best for This Salad?

In selecting tomatoes for a salad, one should consider flavor, texture, and color. Heirloom tomatoes, with their rich taste and diverse hues, can elevate a dish. However, hybrids often offer more robustness and uniform ripening.

It’s not a matter of heirloom vs. hybrid tomatoes, but rather personal preference and availability. A good rule of thumb: choose the ripest, most flavorful tomatoes you can find, be they heirlooms or hybrids.

What Are Some Suggested Wine Pairings for This Summer Hake Salad?

Considering the hake’s mild flavor and the salad’s vibrant ingredients, they’d suggest a crisp, light-bodied white wine. Something like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Vermentino would complement the dish’s flavors without overpowering them.

These wines pair well with seafood and can stand up to the salad dressing’s tanginess. Additionally, the hake cooking techniques used in this salad would benefit from the wines’ acidity, making them an ideal choice.

Is There a Vegetarian Substitute I Can Use in Place of Hake in This Salad?

In seeking a vegetarian substitute for hake in this salad, there are several plant-based alternatives. They could use firm tofu or tempeh, both high in protein and able to absorb flavors well.

Grilled halloumi cheese is another option. These vegetarian protein sources can be seasoned and cooked similarly to the hake, providing a satisfying texture and taste for those abstaining from fish.


This Sumptuous Summer Hake Salad is a delightful blend of simplicity and sophistication. Its bounty of fresh, vibrant flavors is a testament to the beauty of summer produce. With each bite, you experience a symphony of tastes from the flaky hake to the robust coriander pesto.

Perfect for al fresco dining, this salad is sure to be a star of your summer menu. Delight in this culinary journey, mastering the art of cooking hake and assembling a stunning plate.

Video Transcript

Speaker 2 (00:00)
The next dish we’re going to do is a summer tomato salad with some spiced chickpeas and coriander pesto, some olives.

Speaker 1 (00:25)
We’re going to learn how to cook a piece of hake, a round white fish, loved and adored all across Spain. I particularly like it. I think it’s a really beautiful, creamy, texture, fully-flavioured fish. We use a lot of it in the restaurant. I want to get a nice crispy skin, so I’m not going to season the skin with any salt because I don’t want to draw the moisture on the skin side. So it’s going to season the flesh just with salt, no pepper. So pepper is a spice, so I don’t want that black pepper heat. In the fish. Okay, so medium hot pan. Just some light olive oil. Just get inside down. Just lay the fish in away from you. I’m just going to let that sit. We’re not going to try and touch it, move it, flip it. It’s one lovely crust before. If we try and move it too early, we’re going to disrupt the crust. This is only going to take about three minutes to cook, and there’ll be enough residual heat in the pan just to finish it all. We want to get a bit of brown colouring on the bottom.

Speaker 1 (01:51)
Then whenever we come out the oven, we’re going to hit it with some butter and lemon juice, give it a quick bast. Then we’re going to build our garnish.

Speaker 2 (02:00)
So you can see the protein of the fish is changing in colour.

Speaker 1 (02:08)
We’re going from a translucent to an opaque white. So we want to see that two-thirds of the way through the fish, then we know we’re going to take it off the heat. You see a slight browning of the skin. Make sure it’s nice and flat.

Speaker 2 (02:30)
We’re going to go in the oven, 185, for about three minutes.

Speaker 1 (02:38)
That’s our fish coming out of the oven. You can see here, we’re still not cooked all the way yet, which is perfect. I’m going to take this back to the heat. I’m going to turn the fish, hit it with some butter, some lemon juice. As you can see that lovely hot foaming butter. Just getting our skin darkened a little bit more. Beautiful bit of local hake. This comes from our fishermen. Up in our glass, go keel direction. We’re just going to finish with a squeeze of lemon. It’s going to stop the cooking of the butter. So the garnished fish dish, it’s going to be some char-growed artichokes, some spiced chickpeas. We’re going to dress that with a little bit of green olive tapinade. We have some really beautiful heritage breed tomatoes, a little bit of coriander of pesto, just some good Arbacena olive oil. So we’re going to ever so slightly warm that through. Chickpeas, our artichokes, a little spoonful of our green olive tapenades. Good glug of our olive oil, extra virgin olive oil. I’m just going to warm that through. We’re just going to dress our plate now. This is our summer salad of tomatoes, chickpeas, artichokes, olive, and a coriander pesto.

Speaker 1 (04:41)
Just going to start on the bottom of the plate with just a little bit of saffron, ioli. It’s just a saffron thread, lemon juice, garlic, and oil, emulsion. Just spread that like so. Just going to slice our tomatoes. Not too thin. So whenever we do a tomato dish like this, use our tomatoes at room temperature. A little selection. Just going to season those up. We’re going to lay those on the bottom of the plate. We’re going to go on with our lovely bit of fish. Then our garnish of our chickpeas and artichokes. Dress in our green olive tapana, a little bit of baby coriander, just to give a little bit of freshness. A little touch of that olive oil. Salad, heritage tomatoes, coriander pesto, spiced chickpeas with charled artichokes and a piece of roast saffron ioli..

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