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Pan fried cod with a spinach and wild-mushroom risotto recipe

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Nestled in the small village of Scotby, near Carlisle, Andrew McGrills and his wife Sarah took over running the five star boutique B&B, Willowbeck, three years ago from his parents John and Liz. This also presented the perfect opportunity to open the kitchen where a small evening menu is served, reassuring customers that all food in freshly prepared.

For a delicious and easy to follow meal why not try one of Fini’s Kitchen’s most popular dishes?

Cod Ingredients

  • 2 x 200g cod fillets (cut square with skin on)
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • 40g salted butter


  • 2tbsp mild olive oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • 100g celery finely diced
  • 100g leeks finely diced
  • 300g Arborio risotto rice
  • 150ml white wine
  • 350ml water
  • 100g wild mushrooms
  • 20g spinach
  • 75g hard Italian-style cheese, finely grated
  • 30g butter


  • 100ml olive oil
  • 30ml of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 30ml water
  • 20g chopped fennel stalk
  • 1 tomato (concasse, diced)
  • Dry-cure the fillets by coating with salt and sugar before leaving them to sit for about 10 mins then rinse in ice water then pat dry.
  • Add onions, garlic, celery and leek to a heavy based pan with olive oil, sweat off the vegetables on a gentle heat until translucent.
  • Add the risotto rice and stir.
  • Add the white wine and allow the rice to soften.
  • As the rice cooks, stir in the mushrooms and gradually ladle in the water. As the risotto thickens, stir in the hard cheese and spinach.
  • Cook until the spinach has wilted and the rice is soft and there is minimal amount of liquid then stir in the butter and season. Set aside.
  • Place the cod, skin side down, in an oiled pan and cook.
  • Add the butter to the pan and baste the fillets with the melted butter.
  • After 3-4 mins, remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.
  • Combine all of the dressing ingredients except the tomato and blend until emulsified. Add the tomato.

To serve, place a portion of the risotto onto a pre-warmed dinner bowl. Set the cod on top and spoon the dressing around the risotto. Garnish with fennel tips or deep friend shards of sweet potato.

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