Wonderful fish flavours from Bart’s Fish Tales cookbook

This unwrapped version of the traditionally wrapped cod is perhaps the quickest dish to make in this book. It is inspired by the Italians who wrap a piece of fish in a slice of ham with sage tucked inside and pan-fry it with olive oil. The combination of the salty ham with the flavour of the sage and the fine texture of the white fish is fantastic.






100 g/4 oz Parma ham slices, or another cured ham such as Serrano

4 x 150–175-g/5–6-oz cod fillets, skinned

handful of sage leaves

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper


haddock or hake


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Lay the slices of ham on a rack and roast in the oven for 8–10 minutes until crisp. Transfer the ham to a plate lined with kitchen paper (paper towels) and leave to cool.

Season the cod with salt and pepper but avoid using too much salt as the ham is already quite salty. Grease an ovenproof dish with olive oil and lay the cod in it. Drizzle with olive oil and add the sage leaves, turning them over so they are coated in oil, to prevent them burning. Roast the cod in the oven for 12–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Serve the cod straight from the dish topped with the crisp Parma ham.

The featured recipe is from Bart Van Olphen’s Bart’s Fish Tales 


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