Smoked fish & cherry tomato rarebit

Any kind of white-fleshed fish will do for this divine recipe – it’s a great family dish to make

  • Ready in 1¼ hours
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 645
  • fat 40g
  • saturates 23g
  • carbs 25g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 49g
  • salt 4.99g


  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 600ml milk
  • 100g strong cheddar, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 550g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 900g fresh spinach untrimmed, or 700g/1lb 9oz prepared, washed if necessary
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 550g undyed smoked haddock or cod fillets, skinned and checked for bones
  • 50g cheddar, coarsely grated


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 170C/ conventional 190C/gas 5. To make the rarebit sauce, melt the butter in a heavybased saucepan and stir in the flour and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk until combined. Return to the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring or whisking constantly. Simmer for 2 minutes then mix in the grated cheese and mustard, season well with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. For the fish, melt a third of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and cook until just coloured. Immediately add the tomatoes and toss them with the garlic butter, cooking just enough to heat through. Tip the mixture into the base of a shallow baking dish (a rectangular 28 x 22cm dish is ideal), and spread in an even layer. Melt half the remaining butter in the frying pan and add some of the spinach, cook over a high heat until wilted then tip into a colander. Repeat with the remaining butter and spinach, then press the spinach to drain off any excess liquid, season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg and arrange to cover the tomato layer. Then cover with the fish fillets.

  3. Heat the rarebit sauce and spoon evenly over the fish, spreading it with the back of a spoon so the fish is completely covered, then sprinkle over the grated cheese. (The dish may now be frozen for up to 1 month. To cook, defrost in the microwave or overnight in the fridge and continue as stated adding an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.) Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbling and the fish is cooked through (check by pushing a knife into the fish – the flesh should flake easily). You may like to finish off the rarebit under the grill to brown the top more. Serve straight from the dish.

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