Saturday, 24 May 2014


I haven't cooked as many new recipes this month and instead to the delight of Pascal and Arabella, I have redone some old ones they loved such as chicken nuggets for Arabella, lamb flatbreads with houmous for Pascal and herby salmon and couscous parcels for me. I even did the proscuitto and porcini lasagne for a dinner party which I would really recommend!

However I did need to be slightly experimental and so decided to cook a fish recipe from my latest Fay Ripley book - once I told Pascal that we were having fish for supper, he then decided that would be the day for his big meeting in the city - typical!! He suggested that I cook the fish for just Arabella and but instead I saved it for when he was around….last time I do that!! Like normal he complained all day about the fact we were having fish for supper and even tried to tempt me to go out for pizza, and then when we sat down to eat he informed me that he did not like artichokes, green olives or lemon - the three key ingredients of the dressing…doh….thankfully Arabella and I liked it!

I did make a couple of errors while cooking this (lack of concentration and lack of actually reading the recipe) so when following this do as I say, not what I did.

Ingredients for 4 people:

4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans (mistake number 1 - I only bought one tin and you definitely need two)
Juice of half a lemon
4 x sea bass fillets (I could only buy cod, I think sea bass works a lot better as you will have the crispy skin)

390g tin of artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
200g tin of olives stuffed with anchovies, drained and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

I made the dressing first and so started by finely chopping the artichokes.

I then chopped the olives and the parsley and mixed it all together with the juice of half a lemon and 2 tbsp of olive oil. By mistake I also added garlic - don't do this!!! The garlic is for the beans.

Once the dressing is ready, just set it aside.

The "mash" was Pascal's favourite part so don't be an idiot like me and only buy one tin of beans! Anyway start by frying the garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil for one minute.

Stir in the beans, mashing as you go, until you have a rustic texture and they are warmed through. This takes a few minutes. Vigorously stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, half the juice of a lemon and season. Keep this warm over a very low heat.

Finally in a non stick frying pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and fry the fish skin side down (if there is a skin) until crispy which will take about 3 minutes. As the fish was cooking I seasoned. Then flip over and fry on the other side for another couple of minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.

Serve the fish on a bed of the cannellini and garlic mash and top with the artichoke and olive dressing and enjoy!

So both Arabella and I were big fans  - I never knew she was an artichoke fan but she obviously is, plus her and I LOVE an olive. We all enjoyed the mash, so much tastier and healthier than potato mash - I have been thinking about what else I can add this mash too. The fish was tasty and simple, even Pascal didn't complain there…makes a change…however for him the dressing was a big no no. I won't be cooking this for him again although I definitely will for Arabella and I - it was fresh, tasty, healthy and took 30 minutes - perfect!!! Let me know what you think...

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