Lemon Cod and Basil Bean Mash

Lemon Cod and Basil Bean Mash

I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food website and it ticked all of the boxes I was looking for at the time: quick, healthy and satisfying. I love mashed potato so I didn't have high expectations for the vegetable mash but it's wonderful and I tend to make a bigger quantity than specified as it's completely guilt-free. I add cannellini beans to the mash for their texture and I've found that half a tin works well. I then freeze the remaining cannellini beans to use next time I make this dish which is generally a few times a week. It's filling, sin-free and extremely quick so it's perfect for week nights or when you've over-indulged.

I've tweaked the recipe in a few ways. Firstly I like to roast the garlic a little so it isn't as pungent when added to the mash. I top the fish with breadcrumbs and sometimes I use haddock or salmon. I make the mash with broad beans instead of soya beans as they're easier to get hold of. I also make the mash in a blender as I don't have a food processor which makes the texture quite chunky as some beans don't make it to the bottom where the blade is.

All the ingredients work together so well and it needn't be too expensive if you use frozen fish. One of my favourite things about this dish is that all of its virtues can be balanced out with a super-rich dessert like homemade chocolate mousse (another great BBC Good Food find that we'll write up soon).


Serves: 2

  • 2 fillets cod
  • zest of lemon
  • 1 handful breadcrumbs
  • 2 small bunches cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 250g frozen broad beans
  • ½ can cannellini beans
  • 1 handful basil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Fill and boil the kettle.
  2. Place the fish onto a baking tray. Top with the lemon zest, seasoning and breadcrumbs (if using). Place the tomatoes and garlic clove next to the fish and drizzle everything with a little olive oil.
  3. Bake in the oven for around 12 minutes (or around 18 minutes if using frozen fish). Check on the garlic clove while the fish is cooking. If it starts to brown, remove it from the oven.
  4. While the fish is cooking, place a saucepan over a medium heat, pour in the boiled water and add the frozen broad beans. Cook for two minutes then add the cannellini beans. Cook for another minute or so until the beans are tender.
  5. Separate the basil leaves from the stalks and place a few of the leaves to one side. Remove the garlic clove from the oven if you haven't already done so.
  6. Drain the beans then add them to a food processor along with the vegetable stock, lemon juice, seasoning, basil stalks and the majority of the leaves, and the garlic clove. Pulse until everything combines into a chunky mash.
  7. If the fish still has a while until it's cooked, transfer the mash into an ovenproof dish and roast along with the fish. This will keep the mash warm but it isn't a necessary step.
  8. Once the fish has cooked through remove from the oven along with the mash and tomatoes. Transfer to a plate and top with the remaining basil leaves.

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