Pancetta & nasturtium wrapped hake

Each week I do a menu for home delivery or you can pick it up at the market. I do a different menu every week and this week I did fishcakes. I spoke to my friend Darren who is a fishmonger and he suggested that I use hake. Normally I would go to cod but hake is locally caught and sustainable so it is a no brainer.

The hake worked a treat and the fishcakes were very popular.

fishcakes with beetroot and horseradish

When I picked up the hake I popped in to The Merchant of Relish, a lovely shop on Deal high street selling organic vegetables, some delicious produce and wine that will always make you happy, and picked up some fennel. It was small but I had an idea that confit fennel would be nice.

I didn’t use all of the hake and there was enough for another dish, perfect to pair with the fennel.

I had a look in the fridge and found pancetta, I got nasturtium and edible flowers from the garden and I also eyed a nectarine at the veg stall at the market.

Pancetta & nasturtium wrapped hake

preparation time 10 minutes

cooking time 10 minutes

oven 160C/320F

serves 2 as a starter


  • 50 gr/1.7oz hake/pp (filleted and any pin bones removed)
  • 8 slices of thinly sliced pancetta
  • 2-3 large nasturtium leaves
  • fennel
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
  • olive oil
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and cut in to chunks
  • 1 tbsp crispy crunchy chilli oil (use your favourite chilli oil)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • edible flowers or fresh herbs for decoration

Start by making the confit. Trim the fennel, I used the fennel hearts as these were quite small and placed them in a pan together with the de seeded chilli, the garlic and the bayleaf. Add enough olive oil to cover the vegetables and simmer on low heat until soft, about 30-40 minutes, don’t let it boil.

Cut the hake in to evenly thick pieces.

Place the pancetta with slightly overlapping slices on cling film. Add nasturtium leaves on top of the pancetta but leave a boarder and add the hake. Make a roll so that the nasturtium and pancetta covers the hake. If you have time let it sit for 20 minutes in the fridge.

Heat some olive oil and the chilli oil in a frying pan. Add the pancetta wrapped hake and brown the pancetta. Place the hake in the oven for 6-8 minutes depending on how thick it is.

When the hake is ready let it rest covered for 5-10 minutes.

Cut the nectarine in half and remove the stone. Slice it thinly.

Let the confit fennel cool enough to handle and cut it up for plating. Cut a few garlic cloves in half and plate. Let the remaining confit cool. when cool add it to a cooled, sterilized jar and place in the fridge, make sure any remaining fennel and garlic is covered with the oil.

Cut the hake and plate. I started with the confit fennel and garlic, the hake and the sliced nectarine. Squeeze lemon juice over the hake and garnish with some more nasturtium and any remaining flowers or fresh herbs and give it a final drizzle of olive oil.

pancetta and nasturtium wrapped hake and nectarine

The hake was delicate and worked very well with the pancetta. The nectarine added lovely summer to the dish. Why was I thinking about cod?!

Now when this weeks menu is cooked and delivered it is time to start thinking about next week’s menu and at this point I have no idea but I am sure I will come up with something. If you think of anything please let me know!

9 Responses to “Pancetta & nasturtium wrapped hake”
  1. Gail says:

    Color my world. 🌎🍃

  2. 5 stars, Petra! Michelin quality! I love cod; it’s my go-to fish and I know hake is in the same family so this has my name written all over it. LOOOVE the edible flowers!! I have borage and edible daylilies in the garden, i should use them more often. Thanks for the inspiration. Stay cool!

    • petra08 says:

      oh Angie, what a lovely comment! I hope you try hake, it is slightly more delicate and has a lovely flavour 🙂
      This is the best time for edible flowers and I love to use them! 🙂 xx

  3. Chef Mimi says:

    That is too pretty to eat!!!

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