Oh my fish pie!

I tend to think of pies as being inherently wintery dishes, however, this fish pie is lemon-y, packed with fresh vegetables and entirely suitable for summer. I’ve used Jamie Oliver’s fish pie recipe as my inspiration, but have lost the celery and boosted the veg. It doesn’t have the creamy sauce you might expect, but somehow seems to work just as well!

What you’ll need

salt and pepper (to season)
2kg potatoes (choose ones suitable for mashing – try to steer clear the yellow waxier varieties)
knob of butter and a splash of milk
3 carrots, coarsely grated
200g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 fresh chili pepper (opt for 1/2 a chili with no seeds if you prefer less spice)
300g salmon fillets, skin off and bones removed
300g smoked haddock fillets, skin off and bones removed
150g prawns, raw, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
4 tomatoes, chopped

What to do

Begin by preheating your oven to 200C/400F. Peel the potatoes, slicing any large ones you find in half, and place them in a large pot of water. Bring the pot to the boil and let it bubble away until the potatoes are soft.

In the meantime (and this is the most tedious part), you’ll need to skin and debone the fish (if it isn’t already). Following this, chop the salmon and haddock into small 1.5cm chunks and set aside. Continue by chopping the tomatoes into small cubes, finely chop the chili pepper, coarsely grate the carrots and cheese, and finely grate the zest of your lemon.

By this point in time, the potatoes should nearly be done, so once you’re satisfied they’re soft the whole way through, drain them and return them to the pot. Begin mashing your potatoes, adding as much butter and milk as required to achieve a creamy consistency (a couple of tablespoons each should do the trick), and season with salt and pepper.

**If you’re in the mood for a bit of variety, why not play around with the mash? Try creme fraiche, sour cream, or cream cheese instead of butter and milk, or alternatively, add a dollop of dijon mustard to give your potatoes an extra bit of kick. Alternatively, for a more rustic (read: wonderfully easy) alternative, opt for skin-on mash.

Once you’re happy with your mash, it’s really just a matter of lobbing the carrots, lemon zest, chili, salmon, haddock, prawns, spinach and tomatoes into a large baking/casserole dish. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, squeeze the lemon over top, season with salt and pepper and mix it all together (I like to use my hands for this part). Carefully spoon the mash potato over top, smooth the surface and top with the grated cheddar.

Pop the pie into the oven for 40 minutes, and if you find you’d like the top just a bit more brown by the end, don’t be afraid to turn the heat right up and bake for an extra 5 minutes.

Take the pie out of the oven, and serve. I have an uncanny knack for burning the roof of my mouth on this particular meal, so if you can muster a couple of extra minutes of self restraint before digging in, I’d highly recommend it!