Riverford Wicked Leeks
Pan-fried Pollock & Lentils with Leeks, Spinach & Burnt Lemon recipe image

Print Pan-fried Pollock & Lentils with Leeks, Spinach & Burnt Lemon

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.


Fish recipes  


  • 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


  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.
  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.
  3. Remove the lentils from the heat. Add the mustard and crème fraiche. Season to taste. Keep to one side.
  4. Slice your lemon in half. Rub the cut faces with sugar. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
  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.
  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.
  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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