lemon and fennel haddock with blood orange, fennel & date salad

The selenium found in fennel appears to stimulate production of T-cells which combat infection suggesting fennel can improve the immune response. Fennel seeds are extremely rich in vitamin C, said to be a strong antioxidant with high antimicrobial properties.

White fish, such as haddock, cod or whiting, is a good source of vitamin B3 which helps boost the immune system and can help to recover from infections faster. Watching Mike Reid on the great revived “Ready Steady Cook” earlier this week, reminded me how appealing it is to cook fish en papillote, that is wrapped as a parcel in baking paper and steam cooked in the oven. it is simple, quick and clean, simply enhancing the fish rather than shouting for attention.

A salad of fennel, with vitamin C laden blood oranges and fresh or Medjool dates (modish right now and incredibly good for you makes this an even healthier supper for one or more.

Serves 2

2 portions of haddock fillet

I small lemon, grated zest and juice

1 tsp fennel seeds

fennel fronds

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

two blood oranges

1 bulb fennel, sliced thinly

a handful of fresh or Medjool dates

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp muscatel vinegar

Place the fish in the centre of a large rectangle of baking paper. Use a microplane or grater to shower fish with lemon zest, then squeeze the lemon juice and pour over the fish. Add a tsp of fennel seeds, crushed gently to release their aroma, the fronds from the fennel build2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley, freshly ground salt and pepper.

Cook for 10 minutes in the oven 180C.

Meanwhile, prepare the blood orange, by standing the orange up and using a knife to cut around taking the peel off. Slice fennel thinly, Cut dates lengthwise into four. Make a dressing from 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp walnut oil (if you have to hand) 1 tbsp muscatel or white wine vinegar, any orange juice left in the skins that can be squeezed, salt and pepper.