Braised chicory with pan-fried home salt cod
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus salting
- Serves 4
Cooking heads of chicory in stock gives a soft, succulent side for this seafood supper or dinner party main
- 4 thick slices of fresh cod (about 200g) cut from the thick end of the fillet, skin on
- 3 tbsp salt flakes or coarse rock salt
- grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- 4 large heads of chicory (about 750g)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50g butter
- 300ml good chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves , coarsely sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp small capers , drained
- 1 tbsp olive oil , for frying
- small pack flat-leaf parsley , roughly chopped
- crusty bread , to serve (optional)
- STEP 1
Wash and trim the fillets as necessary. Feeling the cod carefully with your fingers, locate and remove the pin bones from the centre of the fillets. Lay the fish, skin-side down, in a shallow dish. Mix the salt with the lemon zest and sprinkle evenly over the fillets. Cover the dish with cling film and chill for 30 mins.
- STEP 2
Cut the chicory in half lengthways and remove and discard the tough central core (it may be bitter). Blanch in plenty of boiling water for 2 mins, then drain well.
- STEP 3
Heat the extra virgin oil and butter in a large sauté pan and add the chicory, cut-side down. Cook for 5 mins or so until the surface of the chicory begins to brown. Turn the chicory and pour in the lemon juice and stock. Add the garlic, season and bring to a simmer, then cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 20 mins.
- STEP 4
Wash the cod fillets well under running cold water, then pat dry using kitchen paper. Brush the fish with the olive oil, then place in a heavy-based non-stick pan, skin-side down. Cook the fish on a medium-high heat for 5-7 mins or until the skin is golden brown. The fish should be nearly opaque. Turn and cook for a further 1-2 mins, then turn over once more, remove the pan from the heat and leave the fish to rest for 2 mins.
- STEP 5
Add the capers to the chicory and sprinke with the parsley. Serve with the fish and crusty bread, if you like.
Also known as Belgian endive, this elegant vegetable, with its refreshingly bitter tang, is grown in darkness to ensure that it remains white and crisp. It is terrific in a salad, sliced and added at the last minute (before the tips go brown); a little honey and mustard will bring out its nutty flavour. If you’ve never tried braised chicory, you are in for a treat. It goes particularly well with meat dishes, or with fish.