INGREDIENTS

Whole wheat sourdough bread
1 tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
½ tsp chives, finely chopped
Pickled herring
1 pickled pearl onion, thinly sliced
Flaked salt

Black pepper emulsion:
200g whole black peppercorns
½ clove of garlic
50-100ml olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ a lemon, squeezed
1 egg (optional)

Carrot puree:
2 small carrots
½ a lemon, squeezed

Leek ash:
1 leek, the green part

PREPARATION
Make the leek ash in advance. Preheat your oven as hot as it can go. Place the green part of the leek on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until blackened, 70-90 minutes. Let the leek cool, break it into shards and store airtight at room temperature.

Next make the black pepper emulsion. Using a powerful blender, blitz up the garlic, black pepper and salt and then add the oil in a steady stream until it emulsifies. (If this does not happen, use a raw egg to help it out.) Pour the mixture into a squeezy bottle and set aside.

Cook the carrots until soft. Put them in a blender with the lemon juice and blitz until they form a smooth puree.

Cut a 2cm slice of sourdough bread, remove the crusts and carve out two sushi-sized rectangles (roughly 2x4cm).

Carefully cut two slices of herring so that each will sit neatly on top of a rectangle of bread. (José pickles his own herrings with vinegar, salt, sugar, leeks, carrots, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, sugar and salt – but shop-bought is fine.)

In a frying pan, heat the butter until it bubbles, then add the slices of bread and bay leaves. Fry the bread until both slices are golden all over.

ASSEMBLY
Lay the rectangles of bread on a board or plate and add the toppings in this order:
Two dots of the black pepper emulsion.
The chopped chives.
A slice of pickled herring. Two circles of pickled onion.
A dab of carrot puree.
A few crystals of sea salt.
A delicate sprinkling of leek ash.

Serve immediately.