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03 May 2021

José Pizarro’s merluza en salsa verde, from his book Basque

José Pizarro’s merluza en salsa verde, from his book Basque
Basque by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £15) Photography: Laura Edwards

José Pizarro is a Spanish chef and author has three restaurants in London: José Tapas Bar, Pizarro Bermondsey and José Pizarro Broadgate. He opened his fourth restaurant, The Swan Inn, in Surrey, in 2019. José has written five critically acclaimed Spanish cookbooks; his latest, Andalusia, was published in 2019. In 2014, José was voted one of ‘100 españoles’, an award that showcases the top 100 Spaniards around the world. This recipe comes from his book Basque: Spanish Recipes from San Sebastian & Beyond.

José can be seen on the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival main stage.

Serves 4 

Takes: 20 mins

3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves 
1 small shallot, finely chopped 
1 tbsp plain flour
200ml txakoli or dry white wine 
150ml fresh fish stock
4 × 180g hake fillets
200g peas
200g fresh clams, cleaned 
8 small or 4 large white asparagus, blanched for 5-8 mins 
1 small handful of finely chopped parsley
crusty bread, to serve

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat and fry the garlic and shallots until soft and lightly golden, around 3-4 mins. Add the flour and cook for around 2 mins. Slowly add the txacoli and cook for a further 2 mins, then pour in the fish stock; you should then have a silky-smooth sauce.
  • Season the hake fillets, then add them to the sauce and cook for 4-5 mins. Add the peas and clams and cook, covered, for 2-3 mins until the clams open. To finish, add the asparagus and parsley and keep simmering for 1 min. Season to taste and serve with the crusty bread. 

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