Smoked fish & cherry tomato rarebit

Smoked fish & cherry tomato rarebit

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(34 ratings)

Ready in 1¼ hours

More effort

Serves 4 - 6
Any kind of white-fleshed fish will do for this divine recipe - it's a great family dish to make

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal645
  • fat40g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre6g
  • protein49g
  • salt4.99g
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For the rarebit sauce

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 600ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 100g strong cheddar, coarsely grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

For the fish

  • 50g unsalted butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 550g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 900g fresh spinach untrimmed, or 700g/1lb 9oz prepared, washed if necessary



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 550g undyed smoked haddock or cod fillets, skinned and checked for bones



    A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…

  • 50g cheddar, coarsely grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 170C/ conventional 190C/gas 5. To make the rarebit sauce, melt the butter in a heavybased saucepan and stir in the flour and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk until combined. Return to the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring or whisking constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes then mix in the grated cheese and mustard, season well with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. For the fish, melt a third of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and cook until just coloured. Immediately add the tomatoes and toss them with the garlic butter, cooking just enough to heat through. Tip the mixture into the base of a shallow baking dish (a rectangular 28 x 22cm dish is ideal), and spread in an even layer. Melt half the remaining butter in the frying pan and add some of the spinach, cook over a high heat until wilted then tip into a colander. Repeat with the remaining butter and spinach, then press the spinach to drain off any excess liquid, season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg and arrange to cover the tomato layer. Then cover with the fish fillets.

  3. Heat the rarebit sauce and spoon evenly over the fish, spreading it with the back of a spoon so the fish is completely covered, then sprinkle over the grated cheese. (The dish may now be frozen for up to 1 month. To cook, defrost in the microwave or overnight in the fridge and continue as stated adding an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.) Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbling and the fish is cooked through (check by pushing a knife into the fish – the flesh should flake easily). You may like to finish off the rarebit under the grill to brown the top more. Serve straight from the dish.

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Comments (41)

Dormouse7's picture

I just don't get why people pre-cook spinach before putting in the oven for half an hour - it will wilt quite happilly during that time - put some butter knobs and nutmeg on if so desired but I just don't get it! Don't get the recipes that say to chop it first either - just how big can spinach be after being in an oven for half an hour?!

beefley's picture

Loved this! We had a glut of Sungold cherry tomatoes in the garden so used those as a base, also used salmon fillets because that is what we had in the freezer. Chucked in a few king prawns 5 minutes before the end and it was delicious. The sauce in particular is fabulous. I used a 200g bag of spinach and halved the sauce and it was plenty for two of us - as someone else commented, a 900g bag of spinach must be wrong in the original recipe?! We still had plenty of sauce left over so I froze the rest - will be great with some good quality sausages or a pork chop for a quick midweek meal. Five stars.

mooner's picture

I usually do this for two, so do half the ingrediants and it's always very good. Always really squeeze out the spinach though so it's never too wet. Serve with new pots and green beans. Lush!

colinanon's picture

900g of spinach? That's almost a litre of water. Add on the 0.5l from the tomatoes, plus water from the fish, very watery. Then 600 ml milk. Needs adjustment but otherwise delicious.

angela74's picture

I added two tinned chopped tomatoes and boiled potatoes before putting in the oven - iwe like plenty sauce in our house and so I used all of the sauce - was absolutely lovely

Jeaniebee's picture

Made this with half the sauce and was more than enough,my husband loved it and will certainly make it again,maybe with haddock next time instead of cod .
Liked the addition of the nutmeg to the spinach and tomatoes ,served it with homemade potato wedges .

skedge123's picture

I used half the ingredients for 2 people and it was definitely enough when served with some carrots and broccoli . There was way too much sauce and next time I would probably use less milk in the mixture or thicken it for longer.

I also used a dish that was only just big enough for all of the ingredients. If I used a bigger dish then I expect it would have turned out better as some of the liquid would have evaporated.

foodielove's picture

This really was just lovely - I gave it to my very fussy husband who doesn't like much fish and he loved it! The recipe did make a large quantity of sauce though so I've frozen half of it so I can do it again. I think next time I will go easy on the mustard but it was a really lovely recipe.

I served this with rosemary and garlic wedges, really lovely!

Jeaniebee's picture

Thanks for the tip , reduced the sauce and served with your suggestion of potato wedges , will definitely make again

strawberrys's picture

A very tasty dish, will do this recipe again.

anlwspc's picture

This is an absolutely lovely dish. I have made it many times and am looking forward to making it again this weekend. I have had so many good comments about this dish. You can never have too much sauce - it really makes the dish.

eaparker's picture

one of my fave fish recipes ever. Love love love.

howaboutshoes's picture

Far too much sauce! The whole dish is swimming in a milky sauce. Lacks flavour as well. Wouldn't cook it again and don't understand the many good reviews. To me it's a 2 star at most!

donnamoons's picture

nice, use half milk and mustard

susiebonnie's picture

This is a wonderful dish, and so very tasty. Regarding other comments I used a smaller amount of sauce and added an egg to it for extra richness, this worked well.

cakeanyone's picture

Really enjoyed this. Added parboiled thinly sliced potato at the bottom of the dish, as suggested. Used 250g bag of fresh spinach, which was plenty for 2 people. Looking forward to making this again!

elliottliam's picture

This dish was so incredably tasty, good enough to serve at a dinner party. I left out the nut meg because it had plenty of stronge flavours and I used extra mature cheddar and served the dish with charlotte new potatoes.

malinrohman's picture

Really lovely recipe. Have made twice in 2 weeks!

vonboyclehoffen's picture

Very, very nice. It is a bit rich, but gorgeous.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Very tasty and colourful dish but SO rich. You don't need large portions - I couldn't finish mine. If I make it again, I will use unsmoked fish and less cheese to cut down on the richness.
Also, half the amount of cheese sauce would be adequate.


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