Red mullet with saffron baked orzo & broad beans

Add a touch of luxury to a weekend meal with red mullet and saffron-tinted orzo pasta. Peel the broad beans, too, if you really want to wow dinner guests

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:40 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 713
  • fat 30g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 59g
  • sugars 33g
  • fibre 12g
  • protein 34g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 2 whole red mullet, scaled and cleaned
  • pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of fennel seeds
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, stalks and leaves finely chopped
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • pinch dried red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp golden sultanas
  • 150g orzo
  • 100ml fino sherry
  • 180g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g broad beans, blanched and peeled
  • olive oil
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 slices of lemon, halved


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and take the mullet out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Boil a kettle and put the saffron in a small bowl. Pour over 1 tbsp boiling water and stir to release the colour and flavour.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the fennel seeds, red onion, parsley stalks, lemon zest and fennel. Season, add the chilli and cook, stirring, for about 5 mins or until the fennel is taking on some colour. Add the pine nuts, sultanas and orzo and cook for a few more mins, then deglaze with the sherry and the saffron and its liquid. Cook for a couple of mins longer until the liquid has evaporated, then stir through the parsley leaves, tomatoes and beans and transfer to a lightly oiled roasting tin. Cover with 250ml boiling water and cook in the oven for 15 mins.

  3. Preheat the grill. Season the fish inside and out and put the thyme and lemon inside. Rub with olive oil, place on a piece of baking parchment, then grill for about 3-4 mins on each side, depending on their size. Remove and rest. Once the pasta is ready, divide it between plates and top with the fish.

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