Red mullet with hazelnuts and fennel

Pan-fried fillets of fish served with a nutty dressing and griddled fennel makes for a light Italian supper for four from Angela Hartnett
By Angela Hartnett
Red mullet with hazelnuts and fennel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 25 g butter
  • 50 g hazelnuts, skinned
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 8 bulb baby fennel
  • 8 red mullet fillets, cleaned and pin-boned
  • mixed leaf salad, to serve
  • 4 tsp chopped herb leaves, such as mint, flat-leaf parsley and basil


1. Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan until bubbling. Add the hazelnuts and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, constantly shaking the pan to prevent them sticking. Remove and leave to cool.

2. Chop the hazelnuts roughly and place in a bowl with 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the hazelnut oil and vinegar. Mix well to combine, season to taste and set aside.

3. Place the fennel in a bowl, season and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat a griddle pan until hot, add the fennel and grill for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through, until browned and tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the fish fillets, skin-side down, shaking the pan to stop them sticking. Cook for 3 minutes until golden-brown and turn gently using a palette knife. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the pan.

5. To serve, place two pieces of grilled fennel on each plate and top with two fish fillets. Mix the lettuce and herb leaves together with some of the dressing and place in small piles on the plates. Spoon the remaining dressing and nuts over and around.

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