Pollock with skordalia and a pine nut vinaigrette

Pollock with skordalia and a pine nut vinaigrette

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
4 pollock fillets, skin on, each about 170 g
1 tablespoon olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

For the skordalia

Quantity Ingredient
2 large floury potatoes
1-2 garlic cloves
1 egg yolk
1/4 lemon
75-100ml olive oil
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons warm water, (if necessary)

For the vinaigrette

Quantity Ingredient
50g pine nuts
1/2 shallot
1/2 celery stick
2 green olives
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
75ml extra virgin olive oil
2-3 teaspoons verjuice


  1. For the skordalia, peel the potatoes and cut into 2 cm dice. Place in a saucepan of cold water, just enough to cover, and heat over a medium to high heat until simmering. Cover and simmer for 8–15 minutes until cooked; a cutlery knife should penetrate the potato easily and be easily released. While the potatoes are cooking, peel and crush the garlic and mix with the egg yolk.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180ºC. For the vinaigrette, place the pine nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5–8 minutes until pale golden, then tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. Peel and finely dice the shallot and de-string and very finely dice the celery, the same size as the shallot. Halve, stone and finely chop the olives. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 1–2 tablespoons. Put the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and add the verjuice. Stir in the pine nuts, shallot, celery, olives and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then set aside.
  4. Once cooled, drain the potatoes well, return them to the empty pan and leave to steam-dry. While still warm, push them through a potato ricer a few at a time, into a clean saucepan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon.
  5. Mix the egg yolk and garlic into the potato and then beat in the olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice and some seasoning, to taste. Add more olive oil and crushed garlic to taste, if needed. The skordalia should be a soft, spoonable consistency, so stir in 3–4 tablespoons warm water to loosen it if necessary.
  6. Dry the skin of the pollock well and lightly salt it. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and place over a low to medium heat. Arrange the fillets skin side down in the pan and allow the skin to crisp and brown; it may be necessary to hold the fish down with a fish slice, so the skin is firmly against the pan, to prevent it from curling. Cook without moving until nearly cooked through, then add another drizzle of olive oil, turn the fish over and continue to cook the fish until opaque throughout. (Alternatively, the fish can be finished in an oven preheated to 180ºC for a few minutes.)
  7. To serve, gently warm through the skordalia over a low heat. Place a spoonful on each of 4 plates. Add a piece of pollock and spoon a little of the pine nut vinaigrette over the fish. Serve immediately.

A note on skordalia...

  • Skordalia is a garlic-flavoured purée made using either potato, bread or ground almonds as a base. The egg yolk enriches it, but can be omitted. Skordalia can also be served as a dip for grilled vegetables, or to accompany barbecued lamb.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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