Pic of Pan-fried Pollock and Lentils with Leeks, Spinach and Burnt Lemon

Pan-fried Pollock and Lentils with Leeks, Spinach and Burnt Lemon

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Pan-fried Pollock and Lentils with Leeks, Spinach and Burnt Lemon

Serves 2 25 min
The aim with your fish is to get perfectly crispy skin. It's easier than you might think; it just takes a hot pan and minimal intervention. The skin will lift away from the pan as it crisps, so resist the urge to poke and prod. Burnt lemons are a bit of a restaurant trick. The little rub of sugar helps them to brown nicely and creates a clumsy caramel that gives an extra dimension to the lemon juice. Don't cook them on too high a heat; they can smoke a little when they cook.


  • oil for frying
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tin of cooked puy lentils, drained
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 75g crème fraîche
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 pollock fillets


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Warm 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the leeks, with a pinch of salt. Cook gently for 10 minutes, so they soften but don't colour.
  • Step 2

    When the leeks have softened, add the garlic. Cook gently for a further 2 minutes. Add the lentils and spinach. Turn them slowly in the pan so the spinach wilts and the lentils warm through, approx. 3-4 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Remove the lentils from the heat. Add the mustard and crème fraiche. Season to taste. Keep to one side.
  • Step 4

    Slice your lemon in half. Rub the cut faces with sugar. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Step 5

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry the fish, skin-side down, for approx. 3 minutes, until the skin is golden and crispy. Turn the fish over and cook for a further 2 minutes, until cooked through. If it is particularly thick it may need a few minutes more.
  • Step 6

    Remove the fish from the pan to rest for a few minutes. Keep the pan on the heat. Add the lemon halves, face down. Fry on a medium heat for 2 minutes, until they start to caramelise and burn slightly.
  • Step 7

    While the lemons colour, gently reheat the lentils. Serve them topped with the fish, with the burnt lemons on the side for squeezing.

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