1 x 800g–1kg fish such as snapper, gurnard, tarakihi or blue cod
olive oil
400g fresh peas, shelled, or frozen peas, thawed
200g fresh broad beans, shelled, or frozen broad beans, thawed and shelled
90ml olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
juice of 1 lemon
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons tarragon or chervil leaves, including stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoon peppercorns
3 egg yolks
200g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
juice of ½ lemon

Crisp, blackened skin, the flesh just cooked through, flavoured with the fragrant, herbal notes of hot charcoal and just a hint of fresh air. There isn’t anything like barbecued fish to get the juices flowing.

Béarnaise is reputedly a difficult sauce to make, emulsifying beautifully one minute into a silky sauce, then curdling the next into scrambled eggs. The secret to a perfect sauce every time is not to melt the butter first, as is the classical custom, but to add it piece by piece. The butter gradually melts and releases itself into the eggs and both heat up together.

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2.Make sure the fish is scaled and gutted before starting.
3.Using sharp kitchen scissors, and with the head of the fish positioned towards you, snip down each side of the spine towards the tail, where the fish was gutted.
4.Turn the fish around so the head is facing away from you, and with a sharp knife cut down the scissored opening to the tail.
5.Using the scissors again, cut through the tail and just behind the head where it meets the spine.
6.Carefully pull out the spine, taking care not to tear through the skin.
7.All that’s left to do is to use fish tweezers to remove any pin bones and rib bones.
8.Heat the grill. Brush the surface well with clean oil to make sure the fish will not stick.
9.Drizzle the fish with olive oil and season with coarse sea salt (I prefer never to use pepper when cooking seafood, but the choice is yours).
10.Check the heat of the grill – you should be able to hold your hand over it for about 4 seconds.
11.Place the fish skin-side down on the grill rack.
12.Do not turn the fish over – leave it alone as it’s sure to break up if you fiddle around with it.
13.Keep a watch on the flesh of the fish as it changes colour from raw to translucent and is nearly cooked through (this may take from 15 to 40 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish and the heat of the coals), then use a wide fish slice or palette knife to carefully lift the fish onto a warmed plate and leave it to finish cooking.
14.To serve, place the fish on a platter, with the peas and beans served separately and the Béarnaise sauce on the side.
16.Lightly crush the peas and broad beans in a food processor, using the pulse button – you don’t want a purée and it’s important to retain much of the texture.
17.Transfer the peas and beans to a medium saucepan and stir in the olive oil, mint and good seasoning of salt and pepper.
18.Heat for 4 minutes, stir in the lemon juice and season again if necessary.
20.Put the shallots and 1 tablespoonful of the tarragon or chervil into a small saucepan along with the vinegar, wine and peppercorns.
21.Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid to about 1 tablespoon.
22.Press the liquid through a sieve into a bowl and leave to cool.
23.Put the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon water into a heatproof glass bowl.
24.Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle simmer and place the bowl over it, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. The heat should never be too high.
25.Add the reduced strained liquid and whisk well.
26.Start to add the butter, cube by cube, until it is all absorbed.
27.Taste, season and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
28.Stir in the remaining chopped tarragon or chervil.
29.Keep warm, covered with a piece of greaseproof baking paper.

Recipes & food styling Martin Bosley / Photography Mike Heydon

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