A simple poached piece of smoked fish, some charred but tender purple sprouting broccoli, green lentils cooked until al dente and an anchovy-rich cream dressing that brings the whole dish together. There are a few different steps here, but they are neither complicated nor long, and you will be rewarded with a sumptuous, nourishing feast that also makes brilliant leftovers for a working-from-home lunch. Tuck in.
Poached smoked haddock with grilled purple sprouting broccoli, lentils and anchovy cream
Be brave when charring the broccoli – it will provide deliciously bitter notes as a counterpoint to the smoky fish and rich anchovy cream.
Prep 10 min
Cook 40 min
250g puy lentils
750ml chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
500g smoked haddock fillets
300ml whole milk
300g purple sprouting broccoli, thick stems split lengthways
7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
For the anchovy cream
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 tbsp creme fraiche
Juice of ½ small lemon
1 handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Wash the lentils in cold water and drain. Put them in a pan with the stock and a bay leaf, bring to a boil and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, until just tender.
Meanwhile, lay the haddock in a wide pan, add the other bay leaf and pour over the milk (don’t worry if it doesn’t quite cover the fish). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for six to eight minutes until the fish is cooked through. Remove to a warm place, turn up the heat and simmer the milk to reduce by a third.
Heat a grill to its highest setting. Toss the broccoli in two tablespoons of oil, season and grill for seven to eight minutes, turning once, and watching so that it doesn’t catch. Turn off the grill and leave the broccoli in the bottom of the oven to keep warm.
To make the cream, melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat then add the anchovies and garlic and fry, stirring, for three to four minutes, breaking up the anchovies with a wooden spoon as you go so they melt into the butter. Once you have a thick paste, turn up the heat, pour in a ladleful of milk and simmer for a minute to deglaze the pan. Pour this back into the milk pan, add the creme fraiche and simmer for a few minutes. Check the seasoning (go easy with the salt) then return the fish to the pan to warm through.
Once the lentils are tender, stir in the remaining olive oil, squeeze over the lemon juice and season to taste. Spoon onto plates, top with the broccoli followed by the fish, then spoon over the anchovy cream and sprinkle with parsley.
And for the rest of the week …
Consider making double the anchovy cream to pour over a potato gratin, mix with the insides of a jacket potato, or toss through pasta with shredded greens.