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Halibut with purple sprouting broccoli, salted anchovy and cream

Halibut is an expensive fish but it is the real deal and worth it. It has a firm texture, big flakes and a subtle flavour. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to this any very fresh white flaky fish will do: cod, coley, haddock or hake are all good. The sauce is a dream. If I remember rightly, it was part of a pasta sauce at the River Café, but it combines so well with sprouting broccoli, romenesco and broccoli. It also complements a white fish as it is quite subtle and still gives the fish a chance. When it was on the menu at Cigala I eat far too much of it just mopped up with fresh bread. The salted anchovy is the key ingredient. I know quite a few people who don’t like them, but love this sauce. This is because it is a seasoning here, a background note. Like fish sauce in Asia. I use dry guindilla peppers from the north of Spain as I love their flavour and deep red colour, but any dried chilli will do.


1 dried guindilla pepper 4 cloves garlic 3 salted anchovy fillets 150 ml double cream

Slice the garlic. Seed and slice guindilla peppers, scissors often work best. Cook the garlic in some olive oil until just beginning to colour. Remove from the heat and add the anchovy fillets, squash then with the back of a wooden spoon to mash them up, add the guindilla peppers and the cream and gently reduce for five minutes.

Blanch the broccoli in salted water. Now mix with the cream sauce.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan big enough to cook the halibut fillets. Rub a little oil into the fish and season on both sides with salt. When the pan is hot cook skin side down first until crispy. Turn over and by the time this side is coloured the fish should be cooked, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Either way, do not overcook.

Make sure the broccoli and cream are hot and serve

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