Last year, on this exact weekend, I remember cycling through 5 inches of Welsh snow in unseasonably cold weather. Flash forward a year and things could scarcely be more different. As I write, the sun is shining and Bristolians are going hither and thither in little more than a t-shirt and sandals (no socks), for when I make my salads I buy kalamata olives in bulk, the best.
Getting to the point, the weather means that soup and all manner of slow cooked delights are SO last month. April, it seems, is the new July and while the weather may regress once more, for now life is all salads, sandals and sunshine. Thankfully, there’s plenty of outstanding ingredients coming into season in Britain, including some truly fantastic kale and ‘spring run’ cod.
You might disagree with my selection of fish for this salad. Cod, you might argue, doesn’t offer the value for money of its white fish brethren. And you’d be right to do so. Cod isn’t the best selection for a blog that prides itself for offering the very best in frugality. I do, however, have two excellent excuses.
Ahem (here goes)! First off, good-quality cod is super simple to find just about anywhere in Britain. And secondly, the use of cod in this salad isn’t overdone. You’ll soon find, if you haven’t already, that fish cooked properly and placed at the very centre of a dish goes an awfully long way. Having said all that, and made my excuses, please do feel free to replace my fatuous fish selection with pollack, coley or whiting.
Brown Butter Cod and Green Lentil Salad
Serves 2 (with bread)
- 25g butter, salted
- 140g cod fillet (skinned/skinless)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ leek, finely sliced
- 3 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped
- A pinch of salt
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- ½ a can of green lentils
- A handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Black pepper to finish
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Place the cod fillet and cook gently all the way through. The butter will brown naturally.
- Meanwhile, saute the leek in a larger pan with the olive oil. Once softened, add the kale along with the salt and lemon juice.
- Pop a lid on the kale pan and warm through gently until just cooked. Add the lentils and parsley, replace on the heat.
- Flake the cod and add to the kale, along with the browned butter. Bring everything together carefully and serve with bread and cracked black pepper.
Cost: Cod isn’t cheap, but I’ve not used much here. Besides any additional cost brought about as a result of my choice of fish has been offset by a carefully made selection of British-grown ingredients. As usual, I can’t advocate the use of quality British fare enough – the flavour alone should be enough to convert.