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Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto

What a great time of year for fish and what a fabulous opportunity during the lockdown to get some of the best UK fish as normally most of it goes to markets overseas. It’s also very good value – almost half price at times.

Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto

Make friends with your fishmonger!

If you haven’t got a local fishmonger to become your new best friend, do get in touch with Neil Walker at Brixham Fish Market who will overnight you the freshest of fish by courier to your door.

Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto

Our brill Brill!

We bought a fabulous brill last week which fed us well for 2 meals and could have even done 3 had it not been so fantastic that we just scoffed it…Here’s what we did for one of the meals. (the recipe is for using your wood fired oven but if you haven’t got one, dont panic – you can roast the veggies and the fish in your regular oven at about 210C or griddle the veggies on your hob).

Ingredients for serving 2

2 brill fillets, about 180- 200g in weight each (we got 4 good fillets off the fish in the picture); you can use any fillets though – salmon, John Dory, sea bass, cod, sea bream, haddock, red mullet

1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges and then halved

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces

1 courgette, cut into 1cm slices

2tbsp pesto, basil or wild garlic

60g bulgur wheat, soaked in twice its volume of boiling water until tender

3tbsp olive oil

2tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Finely grated zest 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Oven state, door, equipment etc

Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto

2 Mississippi for cooking the veggies, 3 Mississippi for the fish

Heat deflector

Griddle pan


Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto

Toss the veggies in 2tbsp of the olive oil, keeping each kind separate.

Cook them in the griddle pan, again separately, until tender and with some griddle lines on them. It’s best to cook the vegetables separate as they cook at different rates. Try not to move the vegetables around as they then won’t get good gridlle lines.

When the vegetables are cooked, toss them with the parsley, the lemon zest and the soaked bulgur wheat. Season well and keep to one side.

Cut the fish fillets in half if they are long as our brill fillets were. Lightly oil the underside of the fillets with the rest of the olive oil and spread the pesto over the top.

Heat the griddle pan and when it’s hot, add the fish fillets. Cook them in the oven until they have turned bright white and are starting to just flake. The pesto topping will be starting to get grill marks from the fire which look great and add flavour.

Serve the fish fillets at once on top of the vegetable and bulgur wheat salad with a squeze of lemon over the top.

Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto


As we said if you can’t get brill fillets then use what you can get – plaice, sole, haddock, cod, salmon, John Dory….Thicker fillets like salmon or cod will just take a bit longer to cook than the thinned fillets off a flat fish.

If you haven’t got bulgur wheat, use couscous or some cooked rice.

Use any combination of herbs you have to hand – chives, coriander, basil, chervil all work well.

The vegetables and bulgur wheat salad makes a great vegan main course by itself or use it as a side to some grilled chicken or lamb skewers.

Wine suggestion

We’re liking the idea of a crisp Chablis or new world unoaked chardonnay.

Happy Cooking!

Remember lots more fabulous wood fired fish recipes in our latest book!

David and Hollyx

Brill with Roast Vegetables & Pesto