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Hake with coriander pesto and chargrilled tomatoes

Hake with Coriander Pesto and Chargrilled Tomatoes


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Hake is a firm, sweet white fish and a member of the cod family. It’s also readily found off the coast of our fine British seashores making it an appropriate choice for the occasion.

This week, the particular fillets I was working with were caught in Cornwall. I picked them up from my fishmonger, Ben, at New Wave Fish Shop in Cirencester, who also offered some suggestions on how to cook it. Ben explained that hake is a moister fish so it’s useful to flour it before pan-frying. I could achieve a crispy skin effect by flouring the skin, pan-frying it skin-side down, then finishing in the oven. So that’s what I went for.

It was a perfect foil for lemony coriander pesto, augmented with a few beautiful chargrilled Piccolo tomatoes (as a bonus you could add some roasted red peppers, too). I served the hake on top of lentils, but you could also do boiled potatoes or a grain such as pearl barley to make this more of a complete meal.


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Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Make the pesto by putting everything in a food processor with a pinch of salt and blitzing to a purée
Preheat up your grill or outdoor BBQ. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then cover lightly with flour
Heat up an oven-safe frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a glug of olive oil and then the fish fillets
Leave to fry for 4 minutes then transfer to the oven for another 4 minutes (or until the fish is done - cooking time will depend on the thickness of your fish)
While the fish is cooking, grill the tomatoes for just a few minutes, until they start to burst. Serve the fish skin side up with a dollop of pesto and the cherry tomatoes
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