salmon fish fingers with mustard buttered greens


one of the best things about visiting friends, especially when they too are interested in food, is rummaging through their book shelves and seeking inspiration from any cookery books or magazine which they have - i’ve been known to settle myself in a quiet corner, scribbling furiously on a notepad, as inspirational ideas appear...

of course, if a friend is generous enough to lend a book that they own (usually prompted by a pleading request as i clutch the desired book to my bosom!), that’s perfect. which is how i got my hands on alastair hendy’s cooking for friends.

this is a great looking book and a quick read through saw me flag up about a dozen things i fancied trying. these salmon fish fingers with green vegetables were top of the list and given how well they turned out (the spicy couscous crust on the salmon was particularly good), i’ll continue working my way through the other flagged recipes.

salmon fish fingers with green vegetables* (serves 2)

2 salmon fillets

50g couscous

1 garlic clove, crushed

grated zest of ½ a lemon

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground ginger

flour for dusting

1 egg, lightly beaten

8 asparagus spears

1 courgette, sliced

butter and oil for frying

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

juice of ½ a lemon

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped roughly

put the couscous in a bowl and add boiling water until it is just covered, cover and set aside for 5 minutes, fluff it up with a fork, leave for another 5 minutes and then spread it out on a plate and let it dry for 10 minutes. mix with the garlic, lemon zest, spices plus some salt and pepper.

pat the salmon dry and then dip it in the flour, then the egg and finally in the couscous mixture. chill for a few minutes.

blanch the asparagus and courgettes in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

heat a mix of butter and oil in a frying pan, add the fish and gently fry for a couple of minutes on each side. remove and drain on kitchen paper.

heat the butter and mustard, add the vegetables and mix well to coat them with the mustardy butter. add the lemon juice and heat through for about a minute. add the mint.

to serve, slice each fillet in two, lengthways, to make two “fingers” and serve with the mustard buttered vegetables.

* based on a recipe by alastair hendy