Hake and clams in a green sauce (merluza en salsa verde)
This authentic Spanish dish is easy to make and perfect for Spring.
- 8 (or 4 large) white asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched for 5-8 minutes
- 200g/7oz fresh clams, scrubbed under cold running water and debearded
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200ml/7fl oz dry white wine (ideally Txakoli)
- 150ml/5fl oz fresh fish stock
- 4 x 180g hake fillets
- 200g/7oz peas
- 1 small handful flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- crusty bread, to serve
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the prepared asparagus for a further 4-6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Discard any clams with broken shells and any that refuse to close when tapped.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the garlic and shallot for 3–4 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden-brown. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, then add the stock. Simmer until you have a silky-smooth sauce.
Season the hake with salt and pepper and add them to the sauce. Cook the hake for 4–5 minutes, then add the peas and clams. Cover and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.
To finish, add the asparagus and parsley, and simmer for a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread.