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Recipe: Cod with leek & chicory

04 July 2018 at 11:24


This is a simple summery dish: chicory is not used enough, perhaps owing to its slightly bitter flavour. There are two varieties, red and green, it is also known as endive, not to be confused with the endive lettuce which has very tight curly fronds. Chicory looks more like a small torpedo! It is white with either green or red tips. You can simply shred it or pull the leaves off and use them whole. In this recipe, the bitter flavour goes well with the leek and fish.

Top tip: try braising chicory whole - it is a good accompaniment with lamb.


4 fillets cod about 200g each
A little vegetable oil
50g butter
1 medium leek
1 red chicory head
Salt and pepper
Juice of a lemon


  1. Cut the leeks into 5 cm lengths and then cut in half lengthwise and slice thinly into thin sticks and wash thoroughly to remove any earth.
  2. Shred the chicory across the grain and discard the base where it will be discoloured from harvesting.
  3. Take a frying pan which will hold all four pieces of cod. Heat with a little oil and add half the butter. When it is foaming, season the cod with salt and pepper and lay the fillets in the pan. Cook for a few minutes to lightly colour and then turn over and reduce the heat, cook for another few minutes and then very carefully lift out of the pan, place on a plate and keep warm.
  4. Add the remaining butter and as it melts add the leek and the chicory, stirring in gently to allow the flavours to mingle and develop. You can let the leek colour slightly this adds flavour and looks good when it is served!
  5. When the vegetables are soft and have a little colour, take a little vegetable mixture and place on the bottom of four plates or a serving dish, place your fish fillets on top. Then add the lemon juice to the pan heat through and pour the whole lot over the fish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or whatever green herb you may have.

Serving ideas: This is very good with some lovely Ayrshire new potatoes and a salad.

Recipe by Christopher Trotter

Food photography by Caroline Trotter