As soon as you hear the screech of hungry seagulls, you know the fishing fleet is in. This is Sète, south of Montpellier on the western side of the Mediterranean, a long way and a world apart from Nice, our starting point. It’s a busy port with an active auction, where I spotted some lovely fresh swordfish, which set me off on this recipe.


  • 600 - 800g swordfish

  • Four tablespoons olive tapenade

  • Four pieces bought puff pastry

  • For the sauce verte

  • 100g broad beans

  • 100g small peas

  • 100g tomato

  • Handful chopped shallot

  • Handful tarragon

  • Capers, olive oil, lemon

  • Salt and pepper.


  • 1.

    Swordfish is a great alternative to tuna. It’s just as melting and soft and it’s a great fish to serve raw, which is the way you are put it onto this tart. And it’s going to go between the pastry base and a layer of tapenade, which is black olive and anchovy paste, with the sauce verte on top.

  • 2.

    Cut four rectangles from a roll of bought puff pastry and before baking it, make an indentation just inside the edges to make a frame for the dish.

  • 3.

    Bake the pastry and put it aside to chill.

  • 4.

    Cut the fish into four generous chunks and sprinkle it with lemon juice. Don’t leave it in the juice too long or the juice will colour the fish, you just want to give it a tangy flaveour.

  • For the sauce vierge :

  • 1.

    Small fresh beans should be parboiled and put in a bowl.

  • 2.

    The tomato should be peeled, de-seeded and finely chopped with the shallot.

  • 3.

    Add the two, along with the tarragon and capers.

  • 4.

    Finally add a good squeeze of lemon and leave it to sit and cool in the fridge.

  • 5.

    Basically you just mix all the ingredients and leave them to sit for a while.

  • 6.

    To serve spread the tapenade on the pastry, place the fish on top and spoon over the sauce vierge.

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