Black sole with carrot and mussels

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, County Galway

1 black sole on the bone
50g fresh mussels
4 large carrots 1 banana shallot
5g cumin powder
300ml carrot juice
10g pine nuts
10ml white wine
10ml Irish rapeseed oil

Pickling liquid
1l white wine vinegar
500g caster sugar
5 star anise
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2tbs white peppercorns

Serves 2

Peel, top and tail, and cut one of the carrots into discs and ribbons with a potato peeler. Boil all the pickling liquid ingredients together with 250ml of water for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool down, and once cooled put the carrots into the pickling liquid and seal in a kilner jar. The pickled carrots will last for weeks and add great acidity to many dishes. You can also try different vegetables.

To make the carrot purée, slice the banana shallot and sweat off in a saucepan with the cumin over a low heat until translucent. Peel and thinly slice two more carrots, add to the pan, and sweat until the texture of the carrot has softened. Add 200ml of the carrot juice, cover, and cook until soft. Transfer to the food processor and blend to a smooth and silky consistency.

Peel the final carrot and split down the middle. Cover with the remaining carrot juice and cook until softened.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until golden.

Open the mussels in a pan with the white wine on a medium heat. Take off the heat as soon as the shells open.

Pan fry the sole in rapeseed oil, presentation side down, until a nice even golden colour is achieved. Flip to the other side and finish cooking.