Jennifer Irvine | The Balance Diet book, The Orion Publishing Group | Dan Jones Photography 

A shortcut on the traditional fish pie, which can take an hour or more to cook, this recipe simply requires cooking the individual components, then popping the dish under the grill for a few minutes.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 200g small baby potatoes, unpeeled and halved
  • 1 tsp groundnut oil
  • ½ onion, peeled and finely diced (retain the trimmings)
  • 1 leek, washed and finely sliced (white part only; retain the trimmings and the dark green leaves)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ celery stalk, chopped into small dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small dice
  • 100g salmon fillet, skin on, boned
  • 100g any white fish fillet, skin on, boned
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 100g half-fat creme fraiche
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g frozen peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 15g Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10-15 minutes until tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, place the groundnut oil, onion, leek, garlic, celery and carrot in a non-stick pan. Sweat over a medium heat for 10 minutes, lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Meanwhile, place the fish fillets in a pan with the bay leaf, and the leek and onion trimmings, and just cover the mix with hot water.  Bring to the boil and then lower the heat. Cover and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the fish, removing the bay leaf and vegetables, and retain the poaching water.
  5. Remove skin and flake the fish into chunks.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of poaching water, lemon zest and juice, crème fraiche, Parmesan and half of the parsley to the onion/carrot mix.  Add the peas and stir well. Leave for a couple of minutes to heat through, so that the peas defrost, then season with black pepper.
  7. Mix through the flaked fish.
  8. Drain and roughly crush the cooked potatoes with the remainder of the parsley and olive oil.  Don’t overwork it as you want the mash to have a nice chunky texture.
  9. Spoon the fish and vegetable mix into a deep serving dish.  Top with the smashed potatoes and then scatter the Parmesan evenly over the top.
  10. Grill for 5 minutes or until the top is nice and crispy.