Cod with cheddar and leek crumb topping

I love getting an organic vegetable box. Because I am never organised enough to specify what goes in it, every evening meal turns into the invention test from Masterchef.

Which is how this delightful dish arose. I had cod. I had a leek from the box. I somehow needed to speedily combine the two into a tasty, family-friendly meal. A few store-cupboard essentials later, and hey presto! Cod with cheddar and leek crumb topping. Fast, easy and a hit with everyone present.

Kipper insisted on deconstructing it, and eating the fish and the topping separately. I can’t really complain though – she ate a full portion and then had seconds. (As did I, and DH too).

Serves four – or three, if you cut the last piece into three bits so everyone can have seconds.

cod with cheddar and leek crumb topping

Cod with cheddar and leek crumb topping – delicious as shown, or deconstructed a la Kipper.

Cod with cheddar and leek crumb topping

You will need:
4 pieces of cod, weighing around 100-115g each
1 large leek
1 tbsp olive oil
20g dried breadcrumbs
35g mature cheddar cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
0.25-0.5 tsp grated nutmeg

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Trim the leek and remove the outer leaves. Wash thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit. Slice finely into 1-2mm rounds.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate flame. Add the leeks and sauté until soft – about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Grate the cheese finely, and mix with the breadcrumbs, thyme and nutmeg. Add the sautéed leeks and mix thoroughly.
Place the cod pieces in a buttered baking dish. Divide the leek mixture into four equal portions and press one portion down on top of each piece of fish.
Bake the cod in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and cheddar and leek crumb topping is beginning to brown.
Serve immediately.

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