Bream fillets with white bean purée & burghul

Bream fillets with white bean purée & burghul

30 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
Deidre Rooney

This dish is a lovely mixture of strong and subtle flavours – powerfully flavoured olives, anchovies and capers with a plain bean purée. Be careful not to add too much liquid to the burghul.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
120ml olive oil
800g tinned cannellini beans, drained
150ml light chicken stock or water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
180ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
50g tinned anchovies, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
100g burghul
200ml chicken or vegetable stock or water
75g pitted black olives, chopped
seasoned plain flour

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, to serve
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

From the fishmonger

Quantity Ingredient
700-800g bream fillets


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan over a low–medium heat and cook the white onion until soft but not coloured. Add 1 of the garlic cloves (crushed), the beans, the light chicken stock and salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for about 4 minutes. Process the beans and the cooking liquid in a blender with 80 ml of the extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning.
  2. For the relish, dice the fennel and fry in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over a medium heat until just softening. Add 2 of the garlic cloves (chopped) and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and add the anchovies, mint, capers, vinegar, pepper and 90 ml of the extra-virgin olive oil. Stir and taste for seasoning. Set aside.
  3. Sauté the red onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When soft and translucent add the remaining garlic (crushed) and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Add the burghul, then pour over the chicken or vegetable stock and season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed. Ensure the burghul doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the olives and fork through the burghul with the parsley, the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Dip the fish fillets in the flour and shake off any excess. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and cook the fish, skin side down, over a medium heat for 3 minutes until brown. Carefully turn over and repeat.
  7. Put a portion of the burghul onto each plate and spoon over some bean purée. Put the fish fillets on top and add the relish. Offer the remaining burghul and bean purée in serving bowls. Drizzle each serving with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with wedges of lemon.
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