Dill-icious

[Recipe 1] FLATHEAD FILLETS with CANNELLINI MASH and DILL GREMOLATA
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[Recipe 2] PANKO-CRUMBED SALMON CAKES
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How was your weekend? Mine was ace. My sister and I celebrated my mum’s 70th with an overnight stay in Bendigo, so we could see the Grace Kelly exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery. Mum was a young girl in Holland when Grace married Prince Rainier, and kept a scrapbook full of pictures of Her Serene Highness. The exhibition was gorgeous. If you have a free weekend before June 17th, I highly recommend it. Grace’s late 60s and 70s frocks by Mark Bohan (for Christian Dior) were works of art. One in particular had such a towering head-piece it necessitated Grace sitting on the floor of a van to be transported to her soiree! Loved spending quality time with my mum and step-dad; and with my sister too, without four little boys under-foot (my sis also has two sons). We actually managed to conduct more than one uninterrupted, meaningful conversation. Amazing! Now for some dinner…
These two recipes are a fab way to have your recommended two fish meals a week. First up is Flathead fillets with cannellini mash and dill gremolata. Adding cannellini beans to potato mash makes for a lovely creamy mash; high in fibre, protein and B Vitamins. It’s an ace way to add legumes to your diet. Set aside a couple of cups of the mash and some dill gremolata (see orange diamonds for exact quantities to reserve); and you can make scrumptious Panko-crumbed salmon cakes later in the week. Have a most excellent Easter or Passover folks.

Flathead fillets with cannellini bean mash and dill gremolata

[Recipe 1] Flathead fillets with cannellini mash and dill gremolata

4 x 120g (4 oz) flathead (or other firm white fish) fillets
½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil for frying
DILL GREMOLATA
1 tablespoon lemon zest, chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped dill
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
CANNELLINI MASH
1¼ kilos (2½ lb) peeled, chopped, mashing potatoes (see suggestions below recipe)
1 garlic clove extra, crushed
1 tablespoon (15g/½ oz) butter, chopped
½ cup (125ml) milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x 400g (15 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra

Place flathead fillets in a plastic bag with the flour. Seal the bag with your hand, and shake gently to coat. Remove flathead fillets, shaking off excess flour. Refrigerate, covered, until required.
Make the dill gremolata by combining the lemon zest, parsley, dill and 2 cloves garlic.
Reserve 4 tablespoons dill gremolata for the panko-crumbed salmon cakes.
Set aside the remainder.
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until soft. Drain and return potatoes to pan. Add the extra garlic, butter, milk, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash well.
Blend beans and olive oil with a stick blender (or food processor) until smooth. Stir the pureed beans through the potato mash. Cover the saucepan and set aside.
Reserve 2½ cups cannellini mash (about 625g) for the panko-crumbed salmon cakes.
Heat oil and pan-fry the flathead fillets for about 2 to 3 minutes each side, until light golden.
Reheat tonight’s cannellini mash in the saucepan, on a low heat, adding a dash of extra milk if required.
Place a mound of warm cannellini mash on each plate. Top with flathead fillets and scatter with dill gremolata. Serve with steamed broccollini or asparagus; and wedges of lemon.

  • Planned-overs (reserved mash and dill gremolata) can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and should be used within two days.
  • Perfect mashing potatoes include desiree, sebago, spunta, marilyn, dutch cream, idaho and coliban.  
  • You can use any firm-fleshed white fish for this dish – try whiting or bream (both are sustainable, as is flathead).

Panko-crumbed salmon cakes

[Recipe 2] Panko-crumbed salmon cakes

2 x 180g (6 oz) cans boneless salmon (pink or red), drained, flaked
♦ 2½ cups (about 625g) reserved cannellini mash
4 tablespoons reserved dill gremolata
1 carrot, grated (on fine zester holes)
¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour for dusting
2 large eggs, beaten
1½ cups panko crumbs
Olive oil for shallow frying

Combine the reserved cannellini mash and reserved dill gremolata in a large bowl.
Add salmon, carrot and dry breadcrumbs. Mix well. Divide and shape mixture into 10 cakes.
Dust cakes in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into egg and coat well with the panko crumbs.
Refrigerate cakes for at least 30 minutes. Fry in two batches in hot shallow oil until crisp and golden, about 4–5 minutes each side. Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve hot with crusty bread, a simple green salad (or Asian herb and mixed leaf salad), tartare sauce (store-bought or home-made) and lemon wedges.
Makes 10

  • Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. They’re lighter and crispier than Western bread crumbs and are available in Asian grocers and many supermarkets. Replace with cornflake crumbs or dry breadcrumbs if unavailable.
  • Leftover salmon cakes are excellent in lunchboxes. I occasionally make a few tiny ones just for this purpose.
  • FUSSY CHILD TIP: I make smaller fish cakes for the kids, served in little dinner rolls with mayo. You can omit the dill gremolata from small children’s salmon cakes and add plain chopped parsley instead.