250g dried white beans such as haricot, cannellini, or coco or 2 x 400g tins cooked white beans
500g succulent smoked fish, flaked into large chunks and boned
1 red onion, very finely sliced and soaked in iced water for 1⁄2 hour, drained
2 bunches watercress
1 soft boiled egg, peeled
1⁄2 cup flat-leafed parsley sprigs
1⁄2 cup dill plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 clove garlic
juice and zest of 1 lemon or to taste
3⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
If using dried beans, soak overnight in plenty of cold water. Next day drain the beans, place them in a heavy pot, and add enough fresh water to generously cover by several inches. Do not add salt.
Bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook the beans until they are tender. Be careful not to overcook as they will start to break up.
Drain in a colander, gently running cool water over them. Dry them on a clean tea-towel.
If using tinned beans, rinse well and drain.
Pick the watercress, discarding any long stalks. Wash and dry well.
Dressing: Put everything into a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, or pepper if necessary.
To serve: Gently toss the beans with the dressing, then add the smoked fish and the red onion, combining all ingredients well.
Put the watercress on a large serving platter and place the beans and fish on top. Garnish with a few sprigs of dill. Serves 6
Wine Match: Cockfi ghters Ghost 2003 Hunter Valley Verdelho