Roasted Hapuku over Cannellini Beans, Fennel and Rocket Salad with Salsa Verde

3:05 am on 17 May 2008


Cannellini beans

  • 1 cup cannellini beans
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small carrot, quartered
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lemon dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Half red chilli, seeds removed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly milled white pepper


  • 6 portions hapuku, each approximately 200g
  • Sea salt and freshly milled white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 sprigs thyme

Fennel and rocket salad

  • 3 medium-size heads fennel, thinly sliced
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 6 tablespoons salsa verde

Salsa verde

  • Half cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped and tightly packed
  • Half cup basil leaves, roughly chopped and tightly packed
  • 125g pickled vegetables
  • 65g capers
  • 1 whole green pepper (capsicum), deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 75g anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Half cup roughly chopped white bread (preferably Ciabatta), crusts removed


Rinse the beans under cold running water. Place in a saucepan and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and skim off any foam that appears on the surface.

Give the beans a good stir and add the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours, depending on how fresh and dry the beans are. Stir occasionally to ensure the beans at the bottom do not get crushed, and add more stock if necessary.

To check if they are done, place a few beans in a little of the liquid in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes, then taste. The beans are cooked if they are tender and there is no starchy taste.

Remove saucepan from the heat and season with sea salt. Taste the cooking liquor, not the beans as it will take some time for the beans to absorb the salt. Stir in the olive oil.

For the lemon dressing, crush the garlic and chilli with a little salt in a mortar and pestle. Whisk together with the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to combine. Season to taste. Set aside until required.

Preheat the oven to 200. To cook the hapuku, heat an ovenproof fry pan over a medium to high heat. Season both side of the fillets. Add the oil to the pan, reduce the heat and place the fish gently into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn with a spatula and cook the other side for 1 further minute. Add the butter and thyme and place the pan in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Baste two or three times with the roasting juices.

To serve, spoon the beans into warm bowls with a little of the cooking liquor. Toss the fennel and wild rocket with a little lemon dressing and place on top of the beans.

Remove hapuku from the oven, lift from the fry pan and rest gently on the salad. Deglaze the frying pan with the remaining lemon dressing and spoon over the fish. Place a spoonful of the salsa verde on top of the fish.


From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

Find a Recipe

or browse by title