Chef patron James Mackenzie of Yorkshire’s Pipe and Glass Inn shares his recipe for baked halibut using seasonal favourites cobnuts, cauliflowers and cockles.

Chef James Mackenzie’s Baked Halibut with Cobnut Crust, Cauliflower and Cockles
Serves 4


  • 4 x 200g chunky portions of halibut or cod
  • 400ml fish stock
  • Cobnut Crust
  • 100g roughly chopped cobnuts
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 40g grated parmesan cheese
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1tbslp chopped chives
  • Cauliflower Champ
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 100ml water
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • Optional garnish
  • Romanesque cauliflower
  • Yellow cauliflower
  • Purple cauliflower
  • 150g cobnuts for garnish
  • For the cockle sauce
  • 1kg fresh cockles
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 150ml double cream
  1. Make the cauliflower champ by thinly slicing the white cauliflower florets. Place in a saucepan with 200ml whipping cream and 100ml water.
  2. Cover and cook on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is just cooked. Place cauliflower and cream into a food processor and blend until a smooth puree. Season with white pepper and salt to taste. Reserve until needed. Finely slice spring onions ready to add to the cauliflower puree.
  3. For the optional coloured cauliflowers, boil the Romanesque in salted water until just tender and finish with a little butter. I like to cook the yellow one with some saffron in the water but you can leave this out. To provide contrast, simply thinly slice the purple cauliflower and place in some white wine vinegar to pickle for 2 minutes.
  4. To make the cobnut crust, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with your hand to form a rough crumb.
  5. Place the halibut fillets in a deep baking tray and top each one with the cobnut crust. Pour the fish stock around the fish and place in the oven at 180C and bake for about 8-12 minutes - dependent on size and thickness. Try and use nice thick pieces of fish. Remove from oven. Crust should be golden brown.
  6. To make the cockle sauce, heat a large sauce pan and put in the cockles, sliced shallot and white wine. Cover and cook over a high heat until the cockles open. Remove cooked cockles – reserving the liquid – and pick the meat out of them. Add cream to the cockle cooking stock and reduce until a sauce consistency. Return cockle meat to the sauce to warm and finish with chopped dill.
  7. To finish, add spring onions to the cauliflower puree and warm. Place a large spoon of the champ on each plate and place the coloured cauliflower around and top with the fish. Garnish with toasted chopped cobnuts and spoon cockle sauce around.