A twist on gremolata for extra zing – Lawrence Murphy

Hake with spelt, asparagus and gremolata

By lawrence.murphy1
Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 5:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 6:05 pm
Hake with spelt and cardamom gremolata
Hake with spelt and cardamom gremolata

Our recent wine tasting showcased organic and wild food with organic and biodynamic wines.

It’s interesting that wild foods can be healthier than farmed foods but are strictly not allowed to be labelled organic due to the fact that we are unable to verify what the animal or plants feed on.

We also discussed that due to the high costs of implementing soil standard accreditation some farms that are run organically cannot be classed as such.

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The main course on the evening was a dish of organic ox cheek braised in red wine and served with our own version of gremolata which is a little bit like pesto.

Traditionally, gremolata is made with parsley, garlic and lemon and served with braised veal but is also fantastic with fish.

I replaced the lemon with cardamom seeds which was served with the ox cheeks and made a little bit extra for this recipe to go with hake and asparagus.


4 x 220g hake fillets

Bunch asparagus trimmed and split in two

1 leek sliced

150g spelt grain

Small bunch parsley

16 leaves wild garlic or 2 cloves garlic finely chopped

10 green cardamom seeds, husks removed and seeds ground

50ml olive oil

Pinch sea salt


1. Make the gremolata by finely chopping the parsley and wild garlic, add the cardamom, salt and olive oil and mix together.

2. Put the spelt into a pan of water and bring to the boil, simmer for 12 minutes.

3. Season the fish and pan-fry in a little butter until golden and transfer to a pre-heated oven 200c gas 7 for 10 minutes time this so the spelt will be cooked at the same time).

4. With 3 minutes of the spelt cooking left, add the leek and asparagus to the water.

5. Drain the spelt, leek and asparagus and put into a bowl. Add the gremolata and mix together.

6. Put the spelt and vegetables onto 4 plates add the hake and top with a few spears of asparagus to serve.