Niall McKenna's Cod with Lentils, Rocket & Salsa Verde


(Serves 4)

  • 4 x 200g thick white fish fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large handful of rocket leaves, washed

For the lentils:

  • 250g puy lentils
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 rosemary sprig, destalked and leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salsa Verde


· To start, season the flesh of the fish and leave it to sit. At the same time, rinse off the lentils with running water.

· Place the olive oil in the pan, adding the onion, garlic, vegetables and rosemary, cooking on a gentle heat for five minutes. After this time, check the vegetables and if not soft, continue cooking. Once soft, add the tomato puree and cook for another minute.

· Add the lentils to the vegetables and cover with one litre of water, bringing to the boil before adding in the bay and stirring in a drop of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix in half of the salsa verde (three handfuls of flat leaf parsley, a handful of basil, handful of mint leaves, five salted anchovies (drained), one garlic clove peeled, two tbsp capers, one tbsp Dijon, two tbsp red wine vinegar, 125ml extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper).

· Roughly chop all of the ingredients together and combine with the olive oil, mixing well until it resembles a loose, sauce-like consistency.

· Next, season the lentils and broth mix with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and put a lid on to keep it warm.

· To cook the fish, heat a large frying pan until it is smoking hot. I recommended that the extractor fan is switched on. Then add the olive oil and place the fish skin-side down, giving the pan a shake to ensure they do not stick. Turn down the heat and leave to cook for another three minutes on one side. Turn the fish over and add butter to the pan to keep it moist.

· To serve, place the lentils and vegetables onto a plate, placing the fish on top. Drizzle over the remaining salsa verde.

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