Cheese and fish are ingredients that you wouldn’t immediately associate with each other. However, feta, with its salty-sour flavour, works fantastically well when combined with the fresh herbs and wild garlic. We pick our wild garlic from a shaded walled area close to the beach in Padstow, and near to my grandparents’ house in London. It’s only in season for a couple of months from March onwards.
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 x 200g cod fillets, skin on
100ml/7 tbsp good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g feta cheese, crumbled
a small bunch of wild garlic, leaves roughly chopped (keep some of the flowers if you can, for garnish)
a small bunch of basil, roughly chopped
a small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
a small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp pine nuts, toasted
a splash of white wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas mark 4.
Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the butter. Score the skin of the cod fillets, drizzle with a little of the olive oil and season. Place the fillets in the pan, skin-side down, and fry for 2-3 minutes to crisp up the skin. Turn the fillets over and fry for another minute.
Transfer the frying pan to the hot oven and roast the fish for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining olive oil, feta, wild garlic, basil, mint, dill, lemon juice, pine nuts and white wine vinegar in a bowl. Season well and mix thoroughly.
Remove the frying pan from the oven, transfer the fish to a serving dish, and pour the cheese dressing over the fish to serve.
Pairs well with Sancerre Pouilly-Fumé
Extracted from Prawn on the Lawn: Fish and seafood to share by Katie and Rick Toogood (Pavilion Books, approx €21.50). Photograph by Steven Joyce.