Turbot with cobnut crust

Seasonal cobnuts create a contrasting crunchy crust for Matt Tebbutts tender fish dish, served with pickled courgettes
By Matt Tebbutt
Turbot with cobnut crust
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the courgettes

  • 8 baby courgettes, cut into thick, angled slices
  • 150 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

For the fish

  • butter, for greasing
  • 20-30 shelled cobnuts, or hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives
  • 2 tbsp white breadcrumbs, at least a day old
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 turbot fillets, each about 175g, skin off
  • chervil, sprigs, to garnish

Tips and Suggestions

This crust works really well on meats too - try it with lamb.


1. For the courgettes: grill the courgettes on a dry griddle pan until half cooked through.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar, garlic and crushed fennel seeds in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Bring just to a simmer, remove from the heat and leave the mixture to cool a little. Lay the courgette slices in a shallow dish, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture over them, then leave to marinate and cool completely.

3. For the fish: preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and butter a baking tray really well. Place the cobnuts, herbs, breadcrumbs, sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper into a blender and combine together until you have a paste that resembles pesto. Tip this into a shallow dish.

5. Have ready a plate of seasoned flour for dusting and a dish with the beaten egg in. Dip the rounded plump side of each turbot fillet into the flour and dust off the excess. Dip the same side into the beaten egg, then into the cobnut mixture. Make sure the top of each fillet is well covered with the cobnut crust, pressing down any leftover mixture on top.

6. Lay the turbot fillets onto the buttered tray with the cobnut crust facing upwards. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the turbot is just cooked through and the cobnut crust is golden and a little crunchy.

7 Serve the turbot with the pickled courgettes on the side, scattered with chervil.

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