Roasted Loin of Cod with Celeriac Mash, Crispy Kale and Purslane, Comté and Walnut Pesto

Recipe by Alison McNaught

This was inspired by and made from produce available at the market on Saturday 30th January.

Serves 2


  • 1 fat clove of garlic
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100g Comté grated
  • 50g winter purslane
  • 1 big glug olive oil
  • 2 x 180g pieces of cod loin (you can ask Veaseys for this portion size)
  • 1 small (250-300g) celeriac peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 50g butter
  • 100 grams curly kale, washed, dried and picked from the big stalks
  • 1 lemon wedge



  1. Heat your oven to 170c
  2. Start with the pesto.  Place the walnuts, Comté, garlic, winter purslane and olive oil into a food processer and blend until you get an oily paste. If you like garlic you can add an extra clove. If you like your pesto oily be generous with the oil.
  3. Decant this into a small bowl and set to one side.  It’s nice served at room temperature.
  4. When the pesto is made place the celeriac in a roomy saucepan, cover with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and boil until soft. This should take 15-20 minutes.
  5. When the celeriac goes on, rub the cod with small amount of olive oil, place in a roasting tin, skin side down and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Maldon smoked sea salt is a great addition for this dish. Put the fish onto the top shelf. It will take 20-25 minutes to cook.
  6. For the kale, line a baking tray with parchment.  Place the kale into a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle it with olive oil, massage the oil into the kale and dust with some sea salt. Put the kale on to the baking tray making sure to spread it all out in a single layer. Place this on the bottom shelf. Bake for 15 minutes until green and crispy. When its done remove it from the oven and set it to one side, uncovered.
  7. When the celeriac is soft, turn off the heat, drain all the water away, add the 50g of butter, some salt and pepper and mash it with a masher.  If you prefer a puree like consistency, buzz it with a stick blender. Keep the celeriac in the saucepan with a lid if possible.
  8. Check to see if the cod is cooked- it should have a golden crispy crust, on top and be piping hot. When the cod is ready turn the heat back on to the celeriac mash and quickly stir to bring the mash back to a piping hot temperature.
  9. Place the each of the cod loins onto plates, divide the celeriac Mash and kale and add to the plates. Drizzle a large spoon of the pesto over the cod and plate. You can get really creative here! Serve with a lemon wedge and eat immediately.



You can place any remaining pesto in a jar or tupperware container, it will last for a couple of weeks.


Shopping List

  • Cod – Veaseys Fishmongers
  • Kale and winter purslane – Wild Country Organics
  • Celeriac & Garlic – Brockmans
  • Walnuts – The Store Cupboard
  • Comte- London Smoke and CureThe oil and butter were the authors own (you can get oil from The Store Cupboard or Mar de Olivos, and butter from Hook Dairy)


Happy cooking!