½ red chilli or a pinch of chilli powder (more or less, to taste)
100g cavelo nero or kale
1 large mug dried breadcrumbs (or use polenta for gluten-free)
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Pop the kettle on (you’ll use the water to poach the fish and the kale).
Cut your pumpkin/squash into wedges. Don’t worry about peeling or deseeding. Pop on a roasting tray. Season. Tuck some herbs in there, if you like. Gloss with oil. Bake till bronzed and fully tender.
TIP: the smaller you chop your pumpkin/squash, the faster it’ll cook.
Scrape off the seeds. Scoop the flesh from the peel. Tip the flesh in a bowl. Discard, compost or nibble the seeds/peel.
Place your fish in a pan. Cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 mins, or till the fish easily flecks into pieces. Drain. Fleck fish into a bowl with the pumpkin/squash. Add a hit of grated lemon/lime zest and a good squeeze of juice.
Finely chop your chili and garlic. Sizzle in a little oil till just softened. Tip into the pumpkin/squash/fish mix.
Remove the softer leafy bits of the cavelo/kale from its stalk: just hold the stem with one hand and run your hand up the stalk with the other, tugging the leafy bits away from it.
Place in a pan. Cover with boiling water. Let it simmer a minute or two, till softened but still bright glossy green. Drain. Finely chop. Add the mix. Give everything a good mix together – go on, get in there with your hands.
Have a little taste. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Divide mix into 6-8 (depending on how many you wish to serve). Shape into balls.
Coat each ball in breadcrumbs or polenta, till nicely coated. For extra thick crust to each cake, whisk an egg in a bowl. Dip each coated fishcake in the egg, then give it another coating of crumbs/polenta.
Get a large frying pan hot. Gloss with oil. Fry each fishcake (in batches, if needed) till golden on each side
Delicious served with chilli jam or natural yogurt mixed with saffron and lemon juice, or toasted cumin seeds and orange zest.
VEGETARIAN? - Swap the fish for grated Bermondsey Hard Press. It’s a bit like Gruyere and the perfect partner for squash.
VEGAN? - Use roughly chopped and toasted almonds in place of the fish. They’ll add lovely crunch to your cakes. Salted and roasted Spanish Marcona almonds are a particular delight.
MEAT-LOVER? - Go for shreds of leftover roast lamb in place of the fish.