Hake with Capers and Butter Beans

The soft but dense and creamy texture of hake goes particularly well with the creamy texture of butter beans but I know not everyone likes them. If preferred, this could be made with cod, haddock or Pollack and other canned beans could replace butter beans; haricot or cannellini would work very well. The fish is briefly roasted with lemon and olive oil and served over the beans enriched with onion, garlic and white wine. I happened to have a couple of small courgettes from my flourishing plants, so added them for texture. They too are an optional extra but a handful of spinach could be a good alternative there. What gives the dish a special lift is the salty tang of capers added at the end.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 25 min

1 onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 sprig rosemary

½ glass white wine

400g butter beans

2 small courgette

2 hake fillets

½ lemon

1 tbsp capers

few sprigs flat leaf parsley if you have them

     Halve, peel and finely slice the onion. Soften in 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and stir often with a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, crack and peel the garlic. Slice in small, thin scraps. Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Stir the garlic into the soften onion with the rosemary. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes, then add the white wine and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Drain the beans (if using Spanish butter beans – el Navarrico in 700g jars – save the delicious liquid and add to the pan) and stir into the onion. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Dice the courgette and add to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt (unlikely) and squeeze of lemon. Stir in the capers and chopped parsley just before serving. To cook the fish, place in a small, shallow roasting tin skin-side down. Add a splash of remaining olive oil and squeeze lemon juice. Roast for 10 minutes. Rest for a couple of minutes then use a knife and fork to ease off the skin. Serve the beans topped with fish and splash of fish pan juices.