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Sam Pope: Pan-Roasted fish, grilled asparagus and salsa verde

With Sam Pope

Serves 4


4 ? 160g portions of white fish fillet
500g fresh asparagus (approx 2 bunches)

Ingredients for Salsa Verde:

1 clove of garlic
a pinch of salt
3 anchovies
juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons of capers
1 shallot (or 1/2 a red onion), finely chopped
3 tbspns of extra virgin olive oil
1 gherkin, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1 large handful of mixed soft leaf green herbs, e.g. flat parsley, mint, chives, chervil, basil, dill


The salsa verde can be made by hand or in a mortar and pestle.

If using a machine: simply put all the salsa ingredients in a food processor and pulse to the desired consistency.

In a mortar and pestle: crush the garlic clove with a pinch of salt to form a paste. Add the anchovies and half the lemon juice and grind to a paste. Add the capers and bash until broken up. Add the gherkin and shallot and mix. Roughly chop the herbs and add to the mix with the remaining lemon juice and the olive oil. Taste and season. Covered in the fridge the salsa will last for 3-5 days. It is delicious with fish but is extremely versatile and can be served with many things, e.g. chicken, beef and lamb.

Preheat a griddle pan.

Snap the bottoms of the asparagus spears and discard the woody end. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and grill for about 3 minutes.

Sauté the fish in olive oil until just cooked, a couple of minutes each side depending on the thickness of the fillet.

Serve the asparagus on the plate, top with the cooked fish and drizzle with a couple of spoons of the salsa verde.

(TX: 12 September 2011)