“Spring has arrived in the kitchen garden and there are green shoots bursting through the soil everywhere. Spring onions are a fast-growing crop that will add so much to your cooking. Whether eaten raw in salads or cooked in other dishes such as stir-fries, they are indispensable-and they’re even better when freshly picked. I like to take them when they’re as thin as possible and full of the sweetest flavours”

Miso-glazed cod with a spring onion, aubergine and pomegranate salad

Serves 4 

Ingredients

100ml sake
100ml mirin
50g brown sugar
175g white miso paste
30ml sesame oil
30ml soy sauce
4 black-cod/sablefish fillets (you could also use salmon fillets)
1tbspn black sesame seeds, toasted
2 medium aubergines, cut into cubes
Sunflower oil for frying
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 red chilli, finely diced
3 spring onions, outer leaves removed and then finely sliced diagonally
1tbspn grated ginger
1 lime, zest and juice of A handful of fresh coriander leaves
Sea salt
50ml rice vinegar
15ml soy sauce
1tbspn sugar
15ml sesame oil
1 clove garlic, crushed

Method

To make the miso glaze, heat the sake, mirin and brown sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced slightly. Be careful not to allow it to boil. Remove it from the heat and whisk the miso paste, sesame oil and soy sauce through it. (Alternatively, you can buy a very good miso glaze in Waitrose.)

Arrange the black-cod fillets in a dish and spoon the glaze over them, so that each one is fully coated. Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave to marinate in your fridge for between 12 and 24 hours.

Remove the fillets from the dish, shaking off any excess glaze. Place them under a hot grill, skin side up, and cook until seared for about four minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further four minutes or until they’re blackened in some places, but by no means burnt. Transfer the fillets to an ovenproof dish and finish them off in a moderately hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Toast the black sesame seeds in a frying pan for a couple of minutes, then set them aside until you’re ready to use them.

Cut the aubergine into 1in cubes, then shallow fry them in sunflower oil in a wok (in batches if necessary). Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll and sprinkle with sea salt. Put the pomegranate seeds, chilli, two of the spring onions, the grated ginger, the lime zest and juice and a handful of fresh coriander in a large bowl, add the aubergine cubes and mix together. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

Scatter the cod with the toasted black sesame seeds and the remaining sliced spring onions and serve with the aubergine salad and, if you like, some sticky white rice.

More ways with spring onions

Individual spring onion, salmon and pesto frittatas

Grease six holes of a muffin tin. Gently fry four finely sliced spring onions until soft and divide bet-
ween the muffin-tin holes. Add a slice of chopped smoked salmon to each.

Crack six eggs into a jug, beat and add seasoning. Pour the eggs over the spring onions and salmon until the muffin-tin holes are half full, then gently fold a teaspoon of pesto through each.

Top with a little grated cheese and cook in a moderately hot oven for 15 minutes. Serve scattered with micro leaves and a dressed salad.

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