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A recipe for herb crusted loin of cod

Executive head chef at Stanley House, Steve Williams, shares his recipe for the perfect herb crusted loin of cod, served with saffron fennel, olive mash and sauce vierge.

Makes 4


  • Four pieces of cod approximately 150g each (other fish can be used as desired)
  • Two bulbs fennel
  • Saffron – pinch
  • One clove garlic
  • Fish stock
  • Mashed potato
  • 16 black olives – chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Dijon mustard

Herb crust

  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • Two cloves garlic
  • 50g parsley – picked, washed and dried
  • 50g spinach leaf – picked, washed and dried
  • Three sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil – to bind
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Sauce vierge

  • Four plum tomatoes – peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • Four spring onions – peeled and chopped
  • One clove garlic – finely chopped
  • Four tblsp chopped basil
  • Two tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • One tblsp chopped tarragon
  • 12 coriander seeds very finely crushed
  • 150ml olive oil
  • One lemon – juiced and finely zested
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 16 pitted black olives – sliced


  1. Peel the outer leaves of the fennel and cut into batons. Place into a pan with a clove of garlic, pinch of saffron, and cover with the fish stock
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked al dente. Strain off the liquor and reserve for reheating
  3. Place all the ingredients for the sauce vierge into a pan and warm gently but do not boil. This will release the flavours
  4. Liquidise together all the ingredients for the herb crust, except the oil and seasoning until well mixed and finely chopped
  5. Now add the oil little by little until the breadcrumbs hold together when pinched between finger and thumb. Season to taste
  6. Add a little olive oil to a hot pan and seal the fish on both sides, season, but do not cook it through
  7. Pat dry the fish and brush a tsp of Dijon mustard onto each piece
  8. Carefully and evenly press the crumb onto the mustard coated pieces of cod. Place onto an oiled baking tray and place into a pre heated oven (160*) for approximately five minutes until cooked and the crust is lightly golden
  9. Mix the olives into the mashed potato and keep warm

To serve

  1. Warm the sauce vierge to blood temperature, reheat the fennel and mashed potato and arrange neatly onto a plate
  2. Top with the cod and carefully spoon the sauce around the plate
  3. Serve at once
  4. Enjoy!