Tray-baked Sea Bream with Salsa Verde and Puy Lentils

Seemingly like a lot of my friends, I used to love reading when I was younger and do lots of it. As I’m just coming to the end of my second post-graduate training, I’ve noticed that where I’ve spent so much time reading academic stuff, I don’t do much reading of actual books anymore. And what better way to fill that commuting time than getting stuck in a good book? I’ve gone old school and joined my local library last year. I recently decided to check out the cook book section and found ‘In the mood for Healthy Food’, which where I got this recipe from. And since I need to be better at being in the mood for healthy food with a holiday coming up in just over a week, I thought I’d give it a go!

So this is a fish recipe, and although I’ve used bream you can really use any white fish. You’ll notice in the photos that I only made enough fish for two. This is because I was cooking for two, and decided to use the leftover portions of lentils for different purposes. I can therefore confirm that the puy lentils taste great in their own right as a vegetarian lunch or side, but also were great with some roast beef mixed in. Puy lentils are a real treat due to their lovely silky texture, and also have the benefits of being high in protein, calcium, iron and B vitamins. They’re also really filling, I couldn’t finish the portion I’d served up for myself! So there’s something for everyone here: vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians and pure carnivores.

Adapt as you will, but we’ll stick with fish here as it makes for a lovely, light summery meal in the beautiful London sunshine we’ve been having. This is also super easy to make, with minimal chopping and a lot of throwing all the ingredients together. The recipe here makes enough to serve 4.

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Ingredients

For the puy lentils:

  • 250g (1 cup) puy lentils
  • 750ml of vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 mushrooms, chopped
  • 100g spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 fillets of sea bream (optional, omit if making a vegetarian or vegan version)

For the salsa verde:

  • 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets (again, omit of making a vegetarian or vegan version), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

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How to make it…

  1. Cook the lentils with the stock for 15-20 minutes. Drain well and leave to one side.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200Β°C/ Gas Mark 6. Heat a roasting plan over a medium heat on the hob and fry the onion and red pepper for around 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the lentils, mushrooms and tomatoes.
  3. Lay the sea bream over the lentils, seasoning with salt and pepper and drizzling over a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, ensuring the fish it cooked through.
  4. To make the salsa verde, add the finely chopped parsley, basil, capers, anchovy fillets and garlic in a bowl, and mix in the lemon juice and olive oil.
  5. Remove the fish from the tray and gently stir in the spinach, letting it wilt in the steam. Then serve, topping the lentils with the sea bream and drizzling over the salsa verde.
  6. Enjoy!

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Adapted from ‘In the mood for Healthy Food’ by Jo Pratt, ‘tray-baked brill and puy lentils with salsa verde’ (Page 142).

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