James Street South Cookery School: White fish with Mediterranean sauce and Beetroot risotto

Niall's White Fish with Mediterranean Sauce
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes are delicious and light, so perfect for spring entertaining, while being healthy and very easy to make.

I realise I probably sound like a broken record when I wax lyrical about the amazing gift we have in being an island and surrounded by some of the world's best seafood and shellfish. But I mean it and, as such, there is always a good representation of fish across all our menus.

This particular recipe is so quick and simple; it is a great one to pull out of the bag when you have people over so you don't need to spend time away from the group, slaving over a hot stove. And the sauce is so easy, it can be done that morning when you are still in your pyjamas!

My second recipe is for a beetroot risotto. I love the colour and flavour packed into this dish. I also find risottos a hugely therapeutic cooking experience, gently stirring as the stock slowly works its way into the soft, delicious rice.


1.3 kg of brill, turbot or cod

(This recipe will work with any white fish, descaled and cleaned and skin off)

900g potatoes cut very thinly

400g tomatoes peeled diced

250g black olives, pitted and halved

100g capers in brine, rinsed

1 tsp oregano

1 garlic clove unpeeled

100ml olive oil


To make the sauce, combine the tomatoes, olives and capers, oregano, olive oil, garlic and oil in a bowl; cover with cling film and leave to stand for up to six hours in a cool place.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C and line a large dish with greaseproof paper. Arrange the cut potatoes around the bottom of the large, single piece of fish and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes until brown and then remove from oven.

Remove the fish from the dish and cut into six portions and sprinkle with juice of half a lemon. Place back on top of the potatoes and return to the oven for 10 minutes. After eight minutes and two minutes from the end, remove the garlic clove from the sauce and spoon it over the fish. Return to the oven and cook for the last two minutes and serve immediately when removed from the oven.


2 bulbs of cooked beetroot

200g Arborio rice

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 shallot, diced

500ml vegetable stock

100ml white wine

30g butter

Extra virgin olive oil (to garnish)

1 tbsp crème fraiche

40g grated Parmesan

To cook the beetroot, wrap in tinfoil and place in oven at 200C for 50 minutes. Once cooked, remove and let cool and finely dice.

Place the butter in a pan and melt on a moderate heat. Add in the shallot and garlic. Add in the rice and cook for a further two minutes. You will then want to add in the wine and cook until it has all evaporated. Do not let the pan boil dry.

Slowly add the vegetable stock one ladle at a time and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. This should take 20/25 minutes until all the liquid has disappeared. Add in the beetroot and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in a bowl with crème fraiche and drizzle with olive oil.


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