A recipe from my #1 Amazon bestseller The Great Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour
“The Great Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour is a literary blend of three of our favorite things: food, travel, and fascinating people. The book is funny when it should be, compassionate, and educational without you realizing it. Once again, Karen has written in a way that makes us want to immediately pack our bags.”
Gilen Chan and Gene Preudhomme of the podcast, Retire There with Gil & Gene
Lesbos Island, Greece
Less romantically known by its common name — the bottom-feeding goatfish — red mullet is a tender, tasty fish that in ancient times rose to an extraordinary trendiness among wealthy Romans. Top specimens were sold for their weight in silver, kept in ponds, and caressed by their owner, who would brag to friends about teaching the fish to come to the sound of his voice. (Having owned goldfish, I can tell you that most fish will come to signals associated with food, so this doesn’t imply special brilliance on the part of red mullets. Or their owners.) Great thinkers of the day — Seneca, Pliny, Cicero — discoursed on the red mullet’s charms, and artists were commissioned to include their image in mosaics on the walls and floors of upscale homes.
The recipe is ridiculously simple: dust the red mullet with flour and salt, fry in oil, serve with lemon.
For more on red mullet and the Greek island of Lesbos, see my post The Marvels of Lesbos Island.