Saffron Fritto Misto with Roast Capsicum Aioli

Food Centric Shoot8519 joshlynott-FOOD-CENTRIC-APRIL-SHOOT
The fish markets of Venice inspired this dish for me. Crisp saffron-battered bites of seafood and vegetables with a punchy capsicum aioli make an impressive share platter. My crunchy tempura-style batter is a little more Japanese in texture, so the food is just lightly coated to show off its shape.



Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 500g baby squid, baby octopus or calamari rings
  • 500g green prawn cutlets
  • 500g cleaned sardines, sardine fillets or fish pieces
  • 2 lemons
  • 500g assorted vegetable pieces**
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • extra light olive oil, for deep frying
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled soda water
  • dill sprigs and sea salt flakes, for sprinkling
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 roast capsicum, peeled and seeded


  • Remove seafood from fridge. Finely slice 1 lemon and cut the second one into wedges for serving. Prepare vegetables and make Roast Capscium Aioli*. Soak saffron in 1 tablespoon boiling water.
  • Just before serving, heat oil in a wok or deep saucepan. Whisk flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and stir in saffron water and freshly opened soda water to make a batter.
  • Working in batches, lightly dip vegetables, lemon slices and seafood into batter and deep fry until golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove any bits of batter from the oil. Drain on a paper towel-lined oven tray and keep warm in the oven as you cook batches. Serve with Roast Capsicum Aioli and lemon wedges.
  • For the *Roast Capsicum Aioli, combine egg, garlic, lemon juice, salt and sugar in a tall jug. Add extra light olive oil. Blend with a handheld blender, tilting the blender until smooth. Gradually stream in the extra virgin olive oil and continue blending until a thick mayonnaise is formed. Add capsicum and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour for the garlic flavour to soften.


  • TIPS **Use asparagus spears, green beans, broccolini, onion rings, slices of fennel or pumpkin, cauliflower florets, etc.
  • STYLING Best served on a large platter so you can see the shape of each piece. Finish with little sprigs of dill and sea salt flakes.
  • DRINK MATCH Prosecco, pinot grigio or Australian pale ale.

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