LAWRENCE MURPHY: A fishy dish full of spring colours


Saturday, 20th May 2017, 6:55 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 10:03 pm
The bright green of asparagus brings the colours of our countryside to the kitchen
The bright green of asparagus brings the colours of our countryside to the kitchen

On a countryside meander through the woods and onto the Downs you can see that spring has a bounty of colour.

The woods are full of beautiful bluebells and the wild garlic has produced a sea of white flowers.

The golden yellow rapeseed in the farmers fields sway in the breeze and the trees are full of lush leaves. The weather is warming and the food we eat is becoming lighter.

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It wouldn’t be spring without me mentioning asparagus, as most chefs love this vegetable.

These bright green spears resemble the colours that are in our countryside and bring colour to our plates. They are lovely simply cooked, drizzled with olive oil and some parmesan cheese.

I think asparagus is particularly good with fish and this recipe combines them with black bream caught in our local waters.

Sometimes two ingredients in season together work so well when combined.

I have also added a few wild garlic flowers but if you can’t find them on your country walk, just omit them from the recipe.


4 black bream fillets

2 bunches asparagus

2 shallots, finely chopped

150ml white wine

200ml fish stock

400ml double cream

Small bunch parsley, washed and picked

Butter, for cooking

Tablespoon wild garlic flowers


1. Gently cook the shallots in butter in a large pan for two minutes.

2. Add the wine and reduce by half.Add the stock and bring to the boil.

3. Add the cream and cook for eight minutes

4. Pour the sauce into a liquidiser and add the parsley. Whizz for one minute and pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan.

5. Snap the woody stalks off the bottom of each asparagus spear.

6. Brush a large piece of parchment paper with melted butter. Put the fish on top with the asparagus and sprinkle with water. Season and fold over the paper, folding the sides together to create a sort of bag.

7. Place in a pre-heated oven (190C/gas 5) for eight to 10 minutes until the fish and asparagus are cooked.

8. Heat the sauce and whisk in a knob of butter. Taste and season.

9. Spoon the sauce on to plates and add the asparagus . Top with more asparagus and garlic flowers.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. Visit or call 01243 377 914.