Cabbage and white bean stew with sea bass

Cabbage and white bean stew with sea bass
Cabbage and white bean stew with sea bass

I'm chasing light in my kitchen today. Outside it's grey, wet and cold, with daylight hours fading fast. I'm hugging the largest window in the house in the hope my photographs will turn out well. I'm very much a self-taught amateur photographer, and a love of taking pictures is what drives me to improve. Photographing food can be tricky, and also a long and all-consuming process - I can spend hours composing, repositioning and swapping out props, not to mention making a giant mess as I go along. But it's good fun, and encouraging seeing my images (hopefully) getting better.

This stew is a new favourite of mine and has been on repeat for the last few weeks. Plenty of flavour and texture from different vegetables and beans makes this a healthy and hearty meal. I serve the stew with some pan fried sea bass and it's delicious.

Although much of what I eat is vegetarian, I am not. I love fish and seafood and wouldn't want my diet to be without them. I also eat meat, although not as often, and I'm always conscious of where the meat I eat has come from and how it's been treated. This recipe includes some bacon which adds a lovely salty flavour that works so well with the cabbage, but of course is optional.

Ingredients, serves 4
Coconut oil for frying
1 onion
2 leaks
2 carrots
1 savoy cabbage
2 garlic cloves
Small bunch of fresh thyme
Small bunch of fresh rosemary
4 rashers of bacon (optional)
400g can of white beans e.g. cannellini
400g can chickpeas
1 tbps white wine vinegar
500ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
4 sea bass filets, or any white fish

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or pot on a medium/high heat. Slice the bacon and add this to the pot and cook until it is well coloured. Chop and add the onion to the pot and allow these to softern in the oil from the bacon. Peel and chop the carrots and add these to the pot with the washed and thinly sliced leaks. Chop and add the garlic and white wine vinegar and allow to cook for a few minutes. Drain and rinse the cannelloni beans and chickpeas and add them to the pot.

Chop the cabbage so you have thin strips and add this to the pot with the stock. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 10 minutes so the cabbage softens but keeps it's colour - nobody wants grey overcooked greens.

For the sea bass heat some coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the fish in the pan skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy. Turn the fish over and cook for another minute or less depending on the size of the filet.