Grilled Hake with Polenta and Almond Pesto


Hake is becoming more common in supermarkets nowadays and it’s a fish prized by the Spanish who have some excellent ways of preparing it. This is a more Italian take on grilled fish with polenta for a smooth texture contrasting a rough Genoese-style pesto with almonds introducing an amazing flavour. If you can’t get hold of cornmeal or polenta then instant polenta is an ideal substitute.

Grilled Hake with Polenta and Almond Pesto
Serves 4
  1. 4 Hake fillets, skinless, around 140g each
  2. 50g Polenta
  3. 500ml Water
  4. 1 tsp Salt
  5. 2 tbsp Creme fraiche
  6. 60g Blanched almonds
  7. 3 Garlic cloves, skinned
  8. 25g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus a little extra
  9. 75ml Olive oil
  10. Large bunch of fresh basil
  1. For the polenta, pour the water and salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk the water vigorously and shower in the polenta. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes smooth then turn the heat down to low, place a lid on the pan and stir the polenta every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.
  2. In a dry non-stick frying pan set over a high heat, add the almonds and toast until lightly golden. Place into a pestle and mortar or food processor along with the garlic, parmesan and basil. Pound or blitz to a rough paste and add the basil. Pound or blitz again then add the olive oil to create a loose-textured pesto.
  3. Preheat the grill to maximum and lay the hake fillets on an oiled baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and grill for 5-7 minutes, turning once halfway through until the fillets are translucent white and slightly golden. Keep warm.
  4. To finish the polenta, allow to rest for 5 minutes off the heat. Remove the lid and stir in the crème fraiche. Grate in a little parmesan and season to taste.
  5. Place a portion of polenta on each plate and add the fish on top. Garnish with the pesto and serve.
Artisan Traveller


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