Food & Drink

Make it fish tonight with these two delicious recipes from Niall McKenna

Niall McKenna offers two fast and flavoursome ways to cook cod

Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde.

Despite January feeling like a long month, it is a refreshing time of year as many of us aim to start eating healthier. Therefore, there is no better time to introduce more fish into your diet. For these recipes I have picked cod, cooked in two very different ways. Fish is one of the most versatile and easiest ingredients to cook with - and so fast. Why not give these a go at home or join me at the cookery school to learn how to make meals with fish.

Cod and Lentil Dahl
Cod Lentil Dahl

(Serves 4)

· Cooking oil

· 1 red onion, diced

· 1 tsp curry powder

· 250g red lentils

· 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

· 800ml vegetable stock

· 100ml coconut milk

· 2 limes, juiced

· 100g baby sweetcorn

· 1 broccoli head, cut into florets

· 50g kale, destalked and finely shredded

· 300g cod, skin off

To serve

· 1 lime

· Coriander leaves


· To begin, heat up the oil in the pan, placing on a medium heat before adding in the onion and curry powder to cook off.

· Next, add in the red chilli along with a splash of water, cooking for three minutes.

· Then, add in 100ml water and leave on a simmer for 10 minutes.

· Add in the lentils and stock, bringing to the boil and allowing to simmer for 15 minutes. Remember to stir from time to time. Add in the coconut milk and lime juice and stir well.

· Add the sweetcorn and broccoli and simmer for seven more minutes. Lastly, add in the kale and cod, cooking for a further five minutes.

· To serve, divide between four plates, garnishing with lime and coriander leaves.

Cod with lentils, rocket and salsa verde
Cod with Lentils, Rocket and Salsa Verde.

(Serves 4)

· 4 x 200g thick white fish fillets

· Olive oil

· Knob of butter

· Salt and pepper

· 1 large handful of rocket leaves, washed

For the lentils

· 250g puy lentils

· Olive oil

· 4 cloves garlic, crushed

· 1 onion, chopped

· 2 celery sticks, chopped

· 1 carrot, peeled and chopped

· 1 rosemary sprig, destalked and leaves chopped

· 2 tbsp tomato puree

· 1 bay leaf

· Salt and pepper

· Salsa Verde


· To start, season the flesh of the fish and leave it to sit. At the same time, rinse off the lentils with running water.

· Place the olive oil in the pan, adding the onion, garlic, vegetables and rosemary, cooking on a gentle heat for five minutes. After this time, check the vegetables and if not soft, continue cooking. Once soft, add the tomato puree and cook for another minute.

· Add the lentils to the vegetables and cover with one litre of water, bringing to the boil before adding in the bay and stirring in a drop of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix in half of the salsa verde (three handfuls of flat leaf parsley, a handful of basil, handful of mint leaves, five salted anchovies (drained), one garlic clove peeled, two tbsp capers, one tbsp Dijon, two tbsp red wine vinegar, 125ml extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper).

· Roughly chop all of the ingredients together and combine with the olive oil, mixing well until it resembles a loose, sauce-like consistency.

· Next, season the lentils and broth mix with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and put a lid on to keep it warm.

· To cook the fish, heat a large frying pan until it is smoking hot. I recommended that the extractor fan is switched on. Then add the olive oil and place the fish skin-side down, giving the pan a shake to ensure they do not stick. Turn down the heat and leave to cook for another three minutes on one side. Turn the fish over and add butter to the pan to keep it moist.

· To serve, place the lentils and vegetables onto a plate, placing the fish on top. Drizzle over the remaining salsa verde.

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