This recipe should appeal to those of you with a passion for fish cookery and the occasional woodland forage. Make using air-dried ham, which we use regularly at River Cottage, or you could try free-range or organic bacon.

Gather the pungent leaves of wild garlic to make this pan fried pollock with wild garlic for a seasonal twist on hearty and fresh dish. Wild garlic can be eaten raw or cooked and added to pasta, tarts, salads, sandwiches or soups. Leaves appear in March and the flowers tend to emerge from April to June. Both are edible and can add a potent garlic punch to salads and sandwiches.

See our wild garlic guide for more information on foraging responsibly and other facts.

This recipe is the perfect accompaniment to this grilled new-potato salad recipe.


  • 2 x 150g each Pollock fillets, keep the skin on
  • 4 Thin slices of air-dried ham
  • 1 small bunch of wild garlic leaves
  • 15g Butter
  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • STEP 1

    Heat a medium sized nonstick pan over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper. When the butter is bubbling, add the fish, skin-side down. After a minute or so, tear the ham into pieces and fry for a minute or two, moving it around the fish as it sizzles. Now roughly chop the garlic leaves and add these, too.

  • STEP 2

    They will wilt in the buttery juices quite quickly. Use a spatula to turn the fish and cook for one more minute on the other side, or until it is just cooked through. You can tell that it’s ready by pushing a knife into the thickest part of the fillet and making sure the fish flakes apart.

  • STEP 3

    Bring the fish to the table with some early new potatoes, a good salad and some fresh bread.


Gill MellerChef and food writer

Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist, and cookery teacher who lives and works near Lyme Regis in Dorset.