Easy to prepare well in advance, they look great and taste even better – A great idea for a small gathering of friends.
For the pickling liquor
10 herrings scaled, gutted and filleted
2 tsp white peppercorns
5 tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
1 orange peel, finely sliced
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
600ml white wine vinegar
250g caster sugar
4 tsp salt
1 fennel bulb finely sliced
For the dressing
200ml virgin rapeseed oil
1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
2 oranges cut into segments
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Lay the herring fillets in a dish large enough to hold them side-by-side immersed in the pickling liquor.
Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaves, orange peel, shallots, garlic, white wine vinegar and sugar into a pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes, and then add the salt and the sliced fennel. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour the cooled liquor and all the flavourings over the herrings and cover the fish closely with cling film to keep them submerged. Leave the fish to pickle and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours before eating. Although they will keep in the pickle for a lot longer, it is best to savour them within in 3 days of pickling.
Take the dish out of the fridge at least an hour before serving to allow the fish to return to room temperature. To serve, strain 75ml of the pickling liquor and mix with the virgin rapeseed oil and chopped parsley. Add the orange segments to the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, lay the herring fillets on a serving platter. Top with the pickled fennel, and generously pour over the dressing evenly arranging the orange segments.