Plaice parcels on the menu

Quick and virtuous fish parcels and a spelt pizza base

 Plaice parcels. Photograph: Alan Betson

Plaice parcels. Photograph: Alan Betson


Spelt is one of those ingredients I usually roll my eyes about. It just seems so . . . spelt. As though it’s spoiling the show somehow.

But I’ve been battling on with it as the demand for using other types of wholesome flours is growing. I have even been tinkering with a spelt roux – made with rapeseed oil instead of butter – and a healthy vegetable bake that isn’t quite ready to be unveiled yet. My family are really hoping I crack it immediately, if not, they are threatening a kitchen protest. But until then, I’ll keep on using them as guinea pigs.

This spelt pizza base was good alright, and although I found it hard to say that I’d rather have this than a regular Margarita from a great pizza restaurant, it is a nice option for when you want something healthier than a regular pizza but still with a little indulgence.

You could really play around with all the ingredients here, swapping the prosciutto for drained artichoke hearts and some sauteed mushrooms or ribbons of courgettes. Other ingredients that could work well with the goat’s cheese are slices of apple, fennel and even a sprinkle of capers.

I stuck with some prosciutto, goat’s cheese, fennel and quartered cherry tomatoes, mainly as this was what was eyeing me up from the fridge. But for the sake of my reputation, I’ll happily declare it a genius and inspired creation. And don’t feel bad if you have to keep it simple and use a tomato sauce, some mozzarella or cheddar and a few bits of basil. If you can get kids interested in other types of grains with deeper flavours, then that is a good thing. So entice them with the toppings to secure a love of the healthier kind of base.

The plaice parcels were absolutely lovely. This is the kid of dish that you feel doesn’t even need a recipe, it’s so, “throw it all together” but yet, I’d forget to make something like this without a little reminder. This is fast food at it’s very best.

Flaked almonds are a great store cupboard ingredient that give a nice crunch to savoury dishes without taking over, like some nuts do, (yes, we’re talking about you, Mr Walnut). A big bunch of flat leaf parsley works a treat to keep it green and once you have skinned fillets, this recipe takes just minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes in the oven. Simple, light and delicious.

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