Fennel, Fish, Saffron

A night in by myself, I fancied experimenting a bit. This is not totally refined so give me a break on the measurements if you attempt something similar for dinner. But, here is what I came up with! In this case I used a hake fillet but ideally I would have used my favourtie seabass but any white strong fish will work well here. Additionally, I used Jersey Royals as they were in season but any spud will do. (Serves about 3)

Fennel Puree

  • 3 large fennel bulbs
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Light stock
  1. Roughly chop the fennel, removing the tougher outer layers and place. Place in a saucepan and cover with some light vegetable stock or water.
  2. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the fennel is tender and soft (about 10 minutes or so)
  3. Drain, reserving the stock, and place in a blender with some seasoning, the butter and the oil. Blend until smooth adding some of the reserved stock to achieve the desired consistency. Set aside in the pan to keep warm over a low heat.

Saffron Roast Potatoes

  • 500g Jersey Royals pealed and sliced
  • Large pinch saffron stamens
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Crush the saffron into a powder in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Just cover the potatoes in cold salted water and add about 1/3 of the saffron. Par-boil until just tender, about 10 minutes, then drain and leave to dry a little.
  3. Mix the rest of the saffron with a good splash of olive oil and coat the potatoes in it in a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until crisp.


  • 3 x white fish fillets such as seabass/hake/halibut
  1. Season your fish evenly with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan until really hot and fry your fish, skin side down, for 3-4 minutes depending on thickness until crisp and nearly cooked. Flip and finish cooking on the flesh side on a lower heat for another minute or so.
  3. Serve with a spoonful of the fennel puree and some of the crispy saffron potatoes. I also caramelised a few wafer thin slices of fennel in a little butter.