Skate wing with cauliflower purée and hazelnut and parsley butter

Skate wing with cauliflower purée and hazelnut and parsley butter

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
4 skate wings, each about 200–250 g
150g butter
30g hazelnuts
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

For the cauliflower purée

Quantity Ingredient
1 small cauliflower
1 onion
1 garlic clove
30g butter
pinch sweet paprika
750ml milk
75ml double cream, (optional)
ground white pepper


  1. For the cauliflower purée, cut the cauliflower into florets and the central core into slices. Halve, peel and finely slice the onion, and peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion, cover with a damp cartouche and sweat over a gentle heat until softened. Remove the cartouche, add the cauliflower, garlic and paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Add the milk and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Simmer until the cauliflower is soft, 15–20 minutes.
  3. Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and blitz until very smooth. This may take quite a long time and you may need to add a little of the cooking liquor to help the process. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the cream to enrich the purée, if you like. Heat the oven to 200ºC.
  4. Wash the skate wings, dry with kitchen paper and trim the tapering thin end with a pair of scissors to neaten them. Melt half the butter in a large ovenproof frying pan or roasting tin over a medium to high heat. Season the skate and brown on both sides, about 1–2 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer the frying pan or roasting tin to the oven and roast for 8–12 minutes, depending on size and thickness; the skate is cooked when it comes away from the cartilage. Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven with the skate for 5 minutes, then remove to a board and lightly crush with the flat of a large knife or a rolling pin. Coarsely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 1 tablespoon.
  6. Transfer the cooked skate to a plate, and keep it warm in a low oven while you make the sauce. Place the frying pan or roasting tin over a medium heat and add the remaining butter to the skate cooking juices. As soon as the butter foams, add the wine vinegar and let bubble for 1 minute. Taste and adjust the balance, adding a little more vinegar if necessary. Add the toasted hazelnuts and parsley, then season to taste.
  7. Divide the cauliflower purée between 4 plates, place a skate wing on each plate and spoon over the hazelnut and parsley butter.


  • Alternatively, for a similar combination of flavours, serve the skate with roasted cauliflower with beurre noisette, almonds and sherry vinegar.

    Skate wing with Jerusalem artichoke purée and hazelnut and parsley butter: Replace the cauliflower with Jerusalem artichokes. Peel them and proceed as for the main recipe.

    Skate wing with meunière sauce: Omit the cauliflower purée and hazelnut and parsley butter. Once the skate wings are cooked, keep them warm in a low oven, wipe out the roasting tin, then melt 150 g unsalted butter in it over a low to medium heat. Once coloured to noisette (a deep toffee colour), add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar mixed with ½ tablespoon water. Add 1–2 tablespoons rinsed, small capers. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and more wine vinegar, if necessary. Stir in 1–2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives and dill. Pour over the skate wings and serve immediately.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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