I know that the combination of tinned tomatoes, cannellini beans and broccoli may not sound all that exciting but once you add salmon fillets and pesto breadcrumbs, something great happens and you have a tasty, filling dinner packed with all kinds of goodness from the veg, beans and fish.
Although this dish takes around an hour to make, it’s a lovely, lazy dish. There’s no need to boil the broccoli; just chop it into small florets and bake in the oven with the tomatoes. I only thought to try this because I'd previously roasted a cauliflower without boiling it first and it turned out really well.
One tub of pesto makes twice the amount of breadcrumbs needed so I put half in the freezer to use later, which makes cooking this dish even easier the second time around.
For years I served this with a side of garlicky rosemary cannellini beans until one day, feeling even lazier than usual, I added the beans to the dish alongside the fish and was happy with the result. A small sacrifice in flavour for less prep and washing up. I use half to one can of beans depending on how hungry I am and how big my broccoli is.
Cod or any white fish works well but salmon is my favourite. If your fish comes with the skin on, place it skin-side down in a dry frying pan for a minute or so, then remove the fish from the pan and slide a knife under the skin; it should peel away easily. Fry both sides of the skin until crisp and eat with the main dish. I find crispy fish skin completely delicious but it's not for everyone and to my great joy, Col isn’t a fan, so I get to eat both skins.
- medium sized head broccoli
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tub fresh pesto (around 130g but more can't hurt)
- 2 slices wholemeal bread
- ½ tin cannellini beans, drained (or a whole tin if you're hungry)
- 2 salmon fillets (with skin if possible, see intro)
- salt and pepper
You will need
- A food processor or blender for making breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan).
- Chop a head of broccoli into small florets, about 2cm across, and place into a baking dish (I usually use a 27cm oval pie dish). If the florets are larger then they'll take longer to cook.
- Empty a can of chopped tomatoes over the broccoli and give everything a good stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- While the broccoli is cooking put 2 slices of bread into the food processor and process until you have chunky crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a large bowl and mix with a tub of fresh pesto. Divide the pesto mixture in two and freeze one half to use at a later date.
- Once the broccoli has baked for 20 minutes remove the dish from the oven, scatter over half a tin of cannellini beans and place 2 fillets of fish on top. Cover with the pesto breadcrumbs and return to the oven for another 18-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.