Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Barbecued Fish with Watermelon & Black Olive Salad

Pair the catch of the day with a sweet twist on a summer salad.

Words & recipe: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson


½ cup olive oil
1kg very fresh, white, firm-fleshed fish, boned
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
lemon wedges, for serving
Watermelon & Black Olive Salad (recipe follows)


Heat barbecue flat plate to medium hot. Rub some oil onto the plate with paper towels, then rub off so there’s no residue.

Cut the fish into even portions. Pat dry with paper towels and brush lightly with oil on both sides. Cook fish for 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned on one side and the fish is two-thirds cooked. Carefully turn over (use a barbecue scraper to capture the browned bits) and cook for a further 2 to 4 minutes, or until the second side is browned.

Remove from the barbecue and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, with lemon wedges and the Watermelon & Black Olive Salad.

Serves 6


Store fish in a covered container in the fridge. Boost the chill factor by adding bags of ice to the container.

Watermelon and Black Olive Salad


400g watermelon, skin and seeds removed, cut into small chunks
180g carrot, peeled and diced
160g (2) celery stalks, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
200g (¼ to ½) cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and diced
2 tablespoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons sliced basil or mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
100g black olives, drained, rinsed, stoned and halved

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Combine the watermelon, carrot, celery, cucumber and herbs in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Scatter over the olives and serve.

Serves 6

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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