Hake with haricot beans and salsa verde


1 garlic clove
¼ red chili
½ lemon
2 handfuls of spinach
60g canned haricot beans
1 x 5ml spoon fresh or dried rosemary
1 x 5ml spoon fresh or dried thyme
1 x 5ml spoon fresh or dried sage
2 x 5ml olive oil
Bay leaf
2 or 3 baby plum tomatoes
1 hake fillet
Freshly ground pepper


Salsa verde
30g fresh parsley
30g fresh basil
30g fresh mint
30g fresh tarragon
1 garlic clove
2 x 15ml spoon capers
1 x 5ml spoon red wine vinegar
3 anchovies
1 x 5ml spoon Dijon mustard
Extra virgin olive oil


Chopping board, vegetable knife, juicer, sieve, saucepan and lid (or greaseproof/ parchment paper), mixing spoon, measuring spoons, non-stick frying pan, fish slice, baking tray, food processor or blender.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 8.
  2. Prepare the ingredients:
    - peel and chop the garlic
    - finely dice the red chilli;
    - juice the lemon;
    - wash and roughly chop the spinach;
    - drain and rinse the beans;
    - roughly chop the fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, if using.
  3. Place the beans, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, chilli, tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 x 5ml olive oil in a saucepan and stir. Cover with a lid or a layer of parchment paper and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach to the hot beans and stir until it has wilted.
  5. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Keep warm.
  6. Add 1 x 5ml spoon olive oil to a frying pan and cook the hake, skin side down, until the skin is crispy.
  7. Place the fish on a baking tray and cook in the oven until the flesh is white and opaque, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  8. To serve, place the hake on top of the beans and spoon over the salsa verde.

Method – salsa verde

  1. Roughly chop the parsley, basil, mint and tarragon.
  2. Peel and roughly chop the garlic.
  3. Drain the capers.
  4. Place the herbs, capers, garlic, vinegar, anchovies and Dijon mustard in a blender and pulse a few times into a coarse sauce, adding just enough oil to achieve a pouring consistency.

Top tips:

  • To achieve a crispy skin, make sure the fish skin is dry before frying and hold down in the pan with a fish slice for 30 seconds.
  • Try pollock, pouting or gurnard instead of hake.
  • Use a layer of greaseproof paper in a lightly oiled frying pan to prevent the fish sticking if your frying pans are not non-stick.


This recipe was kindly donated by Food Teachers Centre, through their FISH (Fish in School Hero) programme.


Why not use the Explore Food calculator, the British Nutrition Foundation's free online nutritional analysis programme, to calculate the nutritional information for this and other Food - a fact of life recipes?

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Melt, simmer and boil
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