Pine dining

Look, when it comes to a nice fresh piece of salmon and potatoes, I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s just keep the fish skin perfectly crunchy, the flesh meltingly tender, and the potatoes blissfully crispy.

But let’s have a look at pine nuts.

Can our approach to pine nuts be reinvented? I don’t know to be honest, it could be a hard nut to crack.

Scroll down for a bright and vibrant recipe for cress & lemon pine nut butter, pan-fried fatty fish, and crispy garlic & thyme potatoes.


If your pine nut butter comes out anywhere near as smooth as this track, then you’re onto a winner.

[Kenichiro Nishihara – PUP (BROCKBEATS Remix), UNPRIVATE, 2022]

Shopping list (serves 4):
Pine nut butter:
Toasted pine nuts x 200g
Watercress x 100g
Spinach x 50g
Dill x 20g
Juice & zest of 1 lemon

Crispy potatoes:
New potatoes x 750g
Large garlic cloves (roughly chopped) x 4
Unsalted butter (melted) x 50g
Fresh thyme leaves x 1 large handful

Salmon or trout fillets (skin-on) x 4

Extra virgin olive oil to serve


Start by covering the pine nuts in boiled and salted water, leaving them in a container to soften for at least four hours.

Sieve the nuts, and retain the liquid. Place the softened nut in a saucepan and add 150ml of the liquid to the pan. Over a low heat, blend the nuts into a smooth paste. Add the cress, spinach and dill, and continue to blend. Keep the heat low, and stir through the lemon juice and zest, with a good pinch of salt.

In another saucepan, place the potatoes in salted cold water and bring up to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to steam-dry for 10 minutes, before roughly chopping them up.

Set your oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C.

In a mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, garlic, thyme, melted butter and a glug of oil. Season well and place on a baking tray uncovered in your hot oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

At the same time, in a frying pan (preferably with a lid), fry the fish fillets skin side down, over a medium heat for six minutes. If you have a lid, turn the heat off and use said lid to simply steam cook the fillets for another four minutes.

If you are without a lid, flip the fillets over and cook over a low heat for just one minute, before turning off the heat and allowing them to rest for a couple more minutes.

Serve the fish with a good dollop of the pine nut butter and a generous helping of the potatoes.

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the pine butter to finish, if you like.

Enjoy!x

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