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17 Mar 2021

Oven-roasted hake on citrussy greens

Oven-roasted hake on citrussy greens
Published by Ryland Peters & Small (£16.99) Photography by Mowie Kay © Ryland Peters & Small

Theo was a semi-finalist on BBC One’s MasterChef in 2014 and is now a regular guest chef on ITV’s This Morning, as well as appearing on BBC One’s Breakfast and the Food Network, among others. He’s authored four cookbooks, including Orexi! and Share. 

He’ll be appearing on the Main Stage at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, demonstrating one of his signature dishes.

Of this dish, Theo says: “Hake is a deliciously sweet and clean-tasting white fish found throughout the Mediterranean, and it’s also one of the UK’s most sustainable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it onto our kitchen tables as much as the so-called ‘big five’ (haddock, cod, tuna, salmon and prawns) — but it should! The first time I cooked this recipe was in the south of France for a staff lunch. Asparagus was in season and I’d just bought a bunch from a roadside stall outside someone’s home. In fact, it was just an old broken wooden stall laden with packs of asparagus, and a pot to leave the money in. This dish was such a hit that it’s been a staple for our summer lunches there ever since. Crisp, lightly roasted green vegetables are enveloped in a wine, butter and lemon dressing, with the roasted fish resting on top. It’s simple, beautiful and, best of all, it’s all cooked in one pan.”

Serves: 4
Takes: 45 mins


250g on-the-vine cherry tomatoes
200g fine green beans, trimmed
3 garlic cloves, sliced
200ml white wine
60ml olive oil
200g fresh spinach leaves, washed and stemmed
200g fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
250g frozen petit pois
2 lemons, cut into quarters
60g butter
4 x 200g hake fillets, skinned
2 tbsp each of chopped flat-leaf parsley and dill
boiled new potatoes, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 220C, 200C fan, gas 7. Snip the vines of the cherry tomatoes with kitchen scissors to make four roughly even-sized sections. Put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 mins, just to warm them through and split the skins slightly. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Put the beans and garlic in a large, deep-sided roasting pan. Pour over the wine and add a splash of olive oil. Mix together and bake in the oven for 10 mins, then remove.
  3. Add the spinach leaves and toss them with the beans so they wilt slightly from the heat, then add the asparagus and petit pois and toss again to combine. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the vegetables, then drop the wedges into the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Dot half of the butter over the vegetables.
  4. Place the hake fillets on top of the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and put a small piece of the remaining butter on each one. Return the pan to the hot oven and roast for a further 7-10 mins until the flesh flakes easily. To serve, add the roasted tomatoes to the pan, scatter over the chopped parsley and dill and take the whole pan to the table. Serve with boiled new potatoes, if you like.

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