Black Book's Blog


Southern calamari, boiled lemon, golden beetroot, fennel, wild rosemary by Ross Lusted, The Bridge Room


Lemon puree:
6 lemons
400ml sugar syrup 50/50 sugar water

Peel the lemons and reserve the peel. Cut the lemons in to quarters and remove the seeds.
In the heavy based sauce pan heat the sugar syrup and add the lemons and peel
Boil over a low heat for 2 hour until the lemons are well cooked the syrup golden and the peel candied.
Separate all the 3 elements from the pot. Peel dry on grease proof paper, reserve the syrup.
Place all the cooked lemon pulp in a blender and blend to a fine puree adding a little syrup until it will well blended, pass through a fine sieve and store in a airtight container.
All 3 elements are used in the final preparation of the dish.

Lemon Cream:
65gr lemon puree
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
150gr butter melted
150gr cream
20ml lemon juice

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, cream and lemon puree until well mixed, cook the mixture over a bain-marie until the mix doubles in volume but does not get above 70degC
When the egg base is cooked remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter.
Lastly whisk in the fresh lemon juice and season to taste.
Pour the mixture into an ISI canister and set with one charge.
Allow to stand for 10min before using.

Golden Beetroot:

1 large golden beetroot
1 Sprig rosemary

Scrub the beetroot and remove any soil. In a deep sauce pan cover the beetroot with a good amount of salted cold water. Add the rosemary sprigs and cook for approx. 1 hour over a low heat until a fine skewer can easily be pushed through the beetroot. Remove from the pot and allow the beetroot to cool to room temperature. It is better not to refrigerate the beetroot as it loses some flavor. Once cooled peel the beetroot and slice finely on a slicer approx. 1mm thick, 12 slices

Fennel salad:

1 bulb organic baby fennel
6 candied lemon peel
50ml lemon dressing

Finely slice the fennel bulb on a mandolin, add the finely sliced candied lemon peel, dress

Southern Calamari:
600gr cleaned calamari
1 sprig rosemary finely chopped
Olive oil

Ensure the squid is well cleaned and pat dry with paper towel. Score the squid finely with a sharp knife without cutting through the flesh. This will help the squid cook quickly without becoming tough. Marinate the squid in the oil and rosemary. Do not salt until just before cooking.
The squid can be cooked on a BBQ, grilled pan or quickly flash fried in a skillet. Cook for approx. 1 minute until the flesh curls and in still translucent in the middle.


2 sprigs wild rosemary
30ml boiled lemon syrup

In the center of 6 warm plates, place a teaspoon of the boiled lemon syrup
Slice the cooked squid in a small pile on the syrup
Lay some fennel salad over the squid
Discharge the ISI gun of lemon cream over the squid
Lay 2 slices of beetroot over the foam
Dress with a little lemon oil and wild rosemary.