White Bait with Pesto and deep fried parsley
Dinner tonight was a blast from the past – quite literally actually – as deep frying parsley almost blasts a hole in your kitchen wall and covers you and your floor in a nice layer of oil, ready for you to slip and break an ankle or a wrist later in the evening. Luckily I already knew this and prepped myself and the kitchen accordingly. (massive towel on the floor and me dressed in a space suit worked just fine!).
Mum used to make this for us as kids quite regularly at a time when white bait was used literally as bait for the local fishermen. You certainly couldn’t order it in a restaurant and pay $32 for half the size I dished up tonight…how times have changed! Looks like the Europeans who came to Australia in the 1950’s were right all along…this is bloody good food!
Feeling a little nostalgic, I bought myself some and indulged in a good ‘ol trip down memory lane. Of course mum served this up with lemon wedges, a plate of home made chips and a tomato salad with some feta cheese…ahead of their time these people, I tell ya!
She also used to chop up a whole bunch of parsley and throw it into the oil once the white bait was done. It was like a mini explosion in the kitchen. Only a couple of seconds in the pan was needed for the parsley to crispen up. She would then scoop it out with a slotted spoon and crumble it all over the white bait, squeeze lemon over the top and us kids would almost kill each other for the last one.
The only thing I did differently tonight was sit the white bait on a bed of wonderful green salad leaves with an amazing fiery paprika and coriander oil I found on my food shopping trip last Saturday and added some awesome tasting pesto.
All I can say is…mmmmmmm…