Whole roast turbot with clams, fennel and potatoes
- May 2019
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 25 min, oven time 40 min
Serving a whole turbot may seem extravagant, but it’s simple to prepare and makes a memorable centrepiece. This recipe is by Tomos Parry, chef and founder of Brat restaurant. In fact, he loves turbot so much that he names his restaurant after it.
Cooking a whole fish makes an impressive dinner party main. See our whole roast plaice with anchovy and sage butter for another showstopping idea.
- Dairy-free recipes
- 13g (2.6g saturated)
- 33.9g (6g sugars)
- 3 small fennel bulbs, cut into 5mm slices (see tip)
- 600g waxy potatoes (such as charlotte), cut into 5mm slices (see tip)
- 1 onion, sliced
- Pinch chilli flakes
- Pinch fennel seeds
- Olive oil to drizzle
- 250ml dry white wine
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 small bunch fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1.2kg whole sustainable turbot (see tips)
- 1kg sustainable live clams
- 1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the fennel and potato slices in the water for 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a shallow roasting tin large enough to hold the fish comfortably. Add the onion, chilli flakes, fennel seeds and a generous drizzle of oil, then toss everything together to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, turning halfway, until lightly golden (see Make Ahead).
- Remove the tray from the oven, pour over 125ml white wine, then add most of the lemon wedges and half the tarragon. Season well and toss together.
- Rinse the turbot and pat dry with kitchen paper, then set on top of the vegetables and drizzle with some more olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.
- Add the clams and the remaining white wine to the tin, then cook for a further 10 minutes until the flesh of the fish is just cooked through and starts to come away from the bone, and the clams are open and cooked (discard any that remain unopened).
- Scatter over the chopped parsley and remaining tarragon, then squeeze over the juice from the remaining lemon wedges to serve.
Buy whole turbot from your local fishmonger, or from thefishsociety.co.uk; a 1.2kg fish costs about £35. It’s tricky to gauge the stock of wild turbot – when they’re spawning (April to August), farmed is more sustainable.
It’s important the fennel and potatoes are thinly sliced – use a mandoline if you have one.
Prepare to the end of step 1 a day ahead and keep covered in the fridge. Complete the recipe to serve.
This deserves a fine white, unoaked and fresh with citrus hints. A Spanish albariño or French sancerre are ideal.
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