One major problem when it comes to food and eating in our home is that The Husband and I rarely agree on what we like to eat. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s asparagus, halloumi, and new potato dish is one exception, and with The Child now eating a decent amount (at times), I needed something to bulk it out. We hadn’t eaten much fish that week, so I bought some salmon.
Potatoes, about 1½ per person
Asparagus, a bunch
1 pack of halloumi (if you’re cooking for two, plus one small person)
4-5 cloves of garlic, bashed (peel if you’re going to eat it later)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fish, 1 fillet per person (we used salmon fillets about1½” at their thickest)
Half a lemon
Prepare the ingredients when you have the time: chop the potatoes into smallish chunks. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into 3cm lengths. Cut the halloumi into 1-2cm cubes.
Get the potatoes baking: preheat your oven to 200°C (190°C fan). Combine your potatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking or roasting tray and mix well. Stick the tray in the oven,set your timer for 30 minutes. Quickly add a little oil and more salt and pepper to your fish fillets. Go attend to your child who has unwillingly woken from her nap and fallen off the sofa in her distress.
The final flourish: once the 30 minutes is up, mix the halloumi and asparagus with the potatoes and garlic. Then clear a space in the centre of the tray and lay the fish down. Put it back in the oven, and set your timer for another 20 minutes. Go to check on your child who is suspiciously quiet and discover that she’s gone back to sleep while watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Once that timer goes off, get the tray out of the oven, squeeze the lemon over it all, wake your child hoping she doesn’t scream in anger, and serve.
(For the record, she finally went to bed after 11.30pm. This phase of toddlerhood is pretty wearying on the ‘a wee bit of free time at night’ front.)