This recipe is flavoursome and Italian at heart. It combines the flaky texture of cod with the fresh bite of Tenderstem. The delicate flavour of these two main ingredients is enhanced by crisp pancetta and the fresh, aromatic herbs. Great for a family meal and quick-to-prepare for a dinner party.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
You will need:
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh flat parsley, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, shredded
8 pieces Tenderstem
Sea salt flakes
Black pepper, freshly ground
½ tsp nutmeg, ground
4 slices Italian pancetta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 medium cod fillets, skinless and boneless (approximately 600g in total)
What to do:
Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.
In the meantime, crush the garlic, peel and finely slice the shallots, chop all the herbs and set to one side.
When the water comes to the boil, add the Tenderstem and cook for 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the stem. Drain the Tenderstem and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Divide the cooked Tenderstem into pairs and wrap one slice of pancetta around each pair, as if you were making a bouquet, sprinkle with the nutmeg and set to one side.
Take a large frying pan, pour the extra virgin olive oil, add the garlic, shallots, herbs, salt and pepper, and cook on a low-medium heat for 3-4 minutes until the shallots soften and start to colour. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
Place the cod in the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes, turning the fillets gently once. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, place the Tenderstem bouquets in the frying pan alongside the cod fillets. Using tongs, turn the Tenderstem frequently so that the pancetta colours evenly. When the pancetta is crisp, turn the heat off.
Serve immediately, making sure you scoop up the flavoursome mixture of the oil, garlic, shallots and herbs.
Tip: If you don't have a large frying pan, separate the cod from the Tenderstem bouquets and cook in two separate frying pans.