Whiting with grape dressing and roast garlic and potato purée

Whiting with grape dressing and roast garlic and potato purée

British Seafood
David Loftus

On a chilly autumn evening when you feel the need for comfort food, this dish will do the trick. Buttery mashed potatoes and a salty, sweet dressing topped with a lovely flaky fresh fillet of roasted whiting… warming and deeply satisfying.


Quantity Ingredient
4 thick whiting fillets
or 8 small fillets, pin-boned and halved
olive oil, for cooking
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Roast garlic and potato purée

Quantity Ingredient
800g medium-large potatoes, washed
1 garlic bulb
200ml milk
200ml double cream
4 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Grape dressing

Quantity Ingredient
150g unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
100ml noilly prat or other dry vermouth
20 grapes, halved and deseeded
2 teaspoons chervil, chopped

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
8 roasted garlic cloves, unpeeled


  1. To make the roast garlic and potato purée, heat your oven to 200°C. Place the whole potatoes on an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 20 minutes. Place the garlic bulb on a piece of foil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and drizzle with a little olive oil, then wrap up in the foil. Place the foil parcel and the garlic cloves for the garnish on the tray alongside the potatoes and bake for a further 20 minutes. Reserve the roasted individual garlic cloves for the garnish.
  2. Working quite quickly, halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Unwrap the roasted garlic bulb, then separate and peel the cloves. Pass the potato and garlic through a potato ricer into a bowl, or mash them together smoothly. Heat the milk and cream together and slowly incorporate into the potato mix until you have the consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chopped parsley. Cover and keep hot.
  3. To make the grape dressing, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and heat until it turns nut brown, then take off the heat. Place another pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. When hot, add the chopped shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute, without colouring. Now add the vermouth and reduce down to about 2 tablespoons. Add the grapes and remove from the heat.
  4. To cook the fish, heat an ovenproof non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, drizzle in some oil, then add the fish fillets, skin side down. Season with salt and cook for 2 minutes until the edges turn golden, then place the pan in the oven for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add 8 tablespoons of the brown butter to the grape mixture and warm through; do not boil. As you take the fish from the oven, flip it over; it will finish cooking with the heat from the pan as you serve.
  5. Spoon the roast garlic and potato purée onto 4 warmed plates. Using a fish slice, carefully place the fish skin side up on top. Add the chopped chervil to the dressing and season to taste, then divide between the plates. Finish with the roasted garlic cloves.
British Seafood
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