Mark Greenaway recipe: Baked Plaice Fillet, Parsley Gnocchi, Baked Clams

Baked plaice fillet, parsley gnocchi, baked clams.  Picture: Paul Johnston
Baked plaice fillet, parsley gnocchi, baked clams. Picture: Paul Johnston
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As the summer days are finally here, light fish dishes are ideal.

This week I am sharing my recipe for baked plaice fillet, parsley gnocchi and baked clams. The clams in this recipe are actually cooked en papillote with the vegetables. This is a traditional French cooking technique which involves wrapping food in a package to steam in its own flavourful liquids, giving it an enhanced taste and aroma. The food is cooked within a parcel, usually made from greaseproof paper or foil. The beauty of this technique is that you can use it for so many dishes. It doesn’t even have to be meat or fish-based, vegetables alone work perfectly.

The parsley gnocchi in the recipe are a great accompaniment for so many dishes. Once you have mastered the method of making gnocchi then you can get creative with different herbs and flavours.

So often I am asked for recipes for new and exciting ways to prepare fish. This recipe would work well with any white fish so it is a useful one to have up your sleeve!

Serves 4


For the parsley gnocchi:

300g potatoes, peeled

75g plain flour

1 egg yolk

100g parmesan, grated

2 tbsp chopped parsley

For the clams and vegetables:

1 carrot, finely diced

Half onion, finely diced

1 stick of celery, finely diced

1 leek, sliced

20 clams

75ml white wine

150ml fish stock

For the plaice:

4 plaice fillets, skinned and deboned

20g butter


To serve:

A drizzle of rapeseed oil

100ml fish stock


For the gnocchi:

Boil the potatoes in salted water till tender.

Drain the potatoes.

Pass them through a potato ricer.

Place back on stove in heavy based pan.

Add the flour and mix.

Add the egg yolk and mix.

Add the parsley and parmesan and mix well till it forms a dough.

Roll the dough out into a long cylinder roughly 1cm thick.

Cut the cylinder into 2cm lengths.

Drop the gnocchi into boiling water to poach.

Once they float, give them 1 minute further in the boiling water.

Drain the gnocchi and place them in ice wate.r

For the vegetables and clams:

Preheat the oven to 185C.

Place all of the vegetables in the centre of a large circular piece of greaseproof paper. and top with the clams.

Fold the greaseproof paper in half, trapping all the ingredients inside.

Start folding the greaseproof paper over and continue folding all the way around.

Before you make your last fold pour in the white wine and fish stock.

Seal the greaseproof paper with the last fold.

Place on an oven tray and bake for 12 minutes.

For the plaice:

Place the plaice fillets on a lined tray and top with the butter and a little salt.

Place them in the oven for 8 minutes.

To serve:

Fry the gnocchi gently in a little rapeseed oil till they just start to colour.

Add the fish stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Open the clam/vegetable parcel.

Place a plaice fillet in each bowl and scatter around the vegetables and clams.

Spoon over the juices from the clam/vegetable parcel.

Scatter the parsley gnocchi around the bowls the oil in a pan over a low-medium heat.