cod with crispy potatoes and mustard lentils


puy lentils are a fantastic store-cupboard staple. they are incredibly versatile – i like them in salads (goats cheese and beetroot with spinach or rocket is perhaps the most common version), as a rich wine-flavoured accompaniment to salmon or duck, or in earthy soups.

however, my passion for lentils is not one that is shared by many of my friends so i’m always on the look-out for dishes that include them but can serve as a gentle introduction.

this gordon ramsay recipe is one such dish and is a real dinner party star. give it a try on your lentil-phobic friends. or try it yourself if you just want a treat!

cod with crispy potatoes and mustard lentils * (serves 4)

400g waxy potatoes, scrubbed

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 fillets cod, each around 125g

100g puy lentils

1 carrot

½ small onion

1 small stick celery

15g butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and patted dry

2 tablespoons classic vinaigrette**, mixed with 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon chopped chives

salt & pepper

cook the potatoes until just tender, drain and peel while still hot. cut into neat dice and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. spread out on a tray, season and leave to cool.

season the skin side of the cod with slat and leave for half an hour. this helps dry out the skin.

put the lentils in a pan with the carrot, celery and onion. cover with cold water and bring to the boil. simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are just cooked. drain and spread out on a tray to cool. this stops them cooking further.

when ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon of oil with the butter in a frying pan and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes. scoop out the shallot and reserve. add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the potatoes. fry until golden, turning as necessary. remove, mix with the capers and shallot and keep warm.

wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil. when hot, add the fish skin side down and cook until the skin crisps up. i (gordon) cook my cod for 90% of the time skin side down. i then flip it over just to brown the other side lightly. cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet but is about 5 minutes in all. check if the fish is cooked by pressing down with the back of a fork – it should be lightly springy.

reheat the lentils gently, season, add the vinaigrette and chives. sit a cod fillet on each plate and spoon over the lentils and potatoes. serve hot.

*this is a gordon ramsay recipe

** classic vinaigrette – whisk together 200ml extra virgin olive oil and 200ml groundnut oil with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, the juice of 1 lemon, 50ml white wine vinegar and 50ml sherry vinegar. store in a large screw-top jar and shake before serving. makes about 500ml.