Halibut on Spinach and Lentils – Veg of the Week

A simple weeknight treat

A simple weeknight treat

I present, “The Vegetable of the Week“: leafy green spinach.

I couldn’t stand the stuff when I was a child – ugh, that pureed frozen stodge, usually heated for ages. But then I discovered that spinach is actually a lovely fresh leafy vegetable….that is, if you only heat it ever so briefly or eat it raw.

Now spinach is one of my favourite veggies, especially for a quick weeknight meal.

This dish, for example, is one of my go-to dinners for busy week days. Usually I take the 30 minutes to cook some dried lentils, but when I am really rushed and starving I just pop open a tin of lentils and have a plate of healthy, comforting food ready in 15 minutes.

By the way, instead of cooking the fish in a fry pan, you can also prepare it en papillotte (wrapped in parchment paper and baked in the oven). Although it took me a few tries to get a feeling for the time the fish needs to cook, I now prefer this method. I’ll share my ‘recipe’ (more like an instruction) for fish en papillotte soon!

And if you like the idea of pairing fish and lentils have a look at this unique and delicious recipe for Tuna with lentils and strawberries (yes! Strawberries.)

(from the blog ‘Dishing up Delights’
Serves 2

150g lentils – I like using French Lentils, but regular green lentils are great to (or a can of lentils)
375ml water
optional: ¼ stock cube
optional: 1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh mint (optional)
400g spinach, organic*
1 small shallot (or a ¼ onion)
1 tbs oil
100g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 fillets of firm white fish like halibut


  1. If using dried lentils: Rinse the lentils in a sieve. Put in a small saucepan with the water and the stock , bay leaf (if using). Cook according to package instructions (usually: bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook 30 or so min).
  2. If using tinned lentils: Rinse the lentils in a sieve. Put in a small saucepan with a tiny bit of water and warm gently whilst preparing the rest of the meal.
  3. Chop the parsley finely and carefully cut the basil and mint into very fine small ribbons.
  4. Wash the spinach. Chop the shallot. Cut the tomatoes into halves
  5. Heat the oil and gently fry the shallot until soft.
  6. Add the tomato and fry gently, turning them carefully a few times.
  7. Remove the tomato and shallots on to a plate. (Keep the pan on the stove.)
  8. Heat a separate pan and cook the fish.
  9. When the fish is almost done, throw the spinach in the pan you used for the onion and. Move the spinach around just enough for it to wilt.
  10. Add the chopped herbs and the lemon juice to the lentils and check for pepper and salt.
  11. Plate up the lentils mixed with the spinach and topped with tomatoes and fish.

* Tips

Spinach is one of the high pesticide-containing foods, so it’s important to eat organic spinach if you can.

Other recipes using spinach




Some of the health benefits

  • This is a very nutrient-dense food. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals. For example:
  • Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.
  • Another of the benefits of spinach is that this is a heart-healthy food. It’s an outstanding source of vitamins C and A which are antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body. The antioxidants work to keep cholesterol from oxidizing. In addition, folate is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure.
  • In comparison to red meat, spinach provides a lot less calories, is fat and cholesterol free, and an excellent source of iron. Because iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells, it’s needed for good energy.
    (source: www.naturally-healthy-eating.com)
    • afracooking said:

      Aw, that is so nice of you to say – beaming now 🙂

  1. Darya said:

    I love this dish! It must have been so delicious. And so balanced and healthful too. I love lentils. I used to hate spinach as a child, because it was served for lunches at the school canteen with eggs and an avalanche of heavy cream. It was heavy, gloopy, and always over-cooked (I suspect it came from a CAN). Now I love it! Even in its cooked form, but oh so lightly with a little olive oil!

    • afracooking said:

      I am sure that thousands of children share our childhood spinach traumas 🙂 But I so agree with you that sauteed quicly in a little oil it tastes amazing!

  2. what a stunning looking dish! love spinach!

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you for the sweet compliment!

  3. Liz said:

    This is a very simple, comforting and very healthy meal. It’s also delicious. I would love to eat it at lunch time, like today when the sun is shining and I am in a good mood. Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoy the rest of the week!

    • afracooking said:

      Yes, this would make a great lunchtime dish (you could even double the lentils and eat them cold the next day). Enjoy the sunshine!

    • afracooking said:

      I am right there with you – wooden cutlery it is!

  4. PotSoup said:

    The richness of the fish with the fresh acidic leafiness lovely. Spinach is one of my new favorite salad leaves. A little bitter but nice. The other recipes look brilliant too.

  5. Spinach is my favourite green ever! It tastes so good in anything but this fish looks amazing! Yum 🙂

  6. I absolutely love spinach and am going to try and grow baby spinach this summer. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Spinach from your own garden – that just sounds wonderful! Unfortunately my little balcony only has enough space for some herbs.

  7. Beautiful photos and I happen to love spinach in so many difference dishes. I agree, it alway’s seems strange to try the frozen version at first, but delicious ingredients like berries, peas and spinach always seem to stand the test of time. I’m yet to try Halibut, it’s just not something we get here. Must try one day.

    Again, stunning photo!

  8. Barbara said:

    Great flavors in your dish…I do love lentils!

    • afracooking said:

      I really enjoy lentils as well, I was shocked the other day to realize that I have different sorts of lentils in my cupboard 🙂

  9. Karen said:

    A quick, healthy and colorful dinner. I know I would enjoy this meal.

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you Karen for your kind words!

  10. Koko said:

    Isn’t it funny how things change from when we are kids! I love spinach now, too. I always add it to my smoothies. This recipe looks just beautiful. Halibut is such a tasty fish and paired with spinach and lentils is a way that I would love to try it.

    • afracooking said:

      I only discoverd green smoothies last year, but since then, whenever I cook spinach, I always keep aside a handful for my next smoothie.

  11. Halibut is my second favorite fish, salmon being the first. And we do love to eat fish with lentils and spinach. Great pairing. .

    • afracooking said:

      I agree, salmon is just so wonderfull creamy in texture.

    • afracooking said:

      Wow – thank you for the award. That is so kind of you!

  12. Looks simple and delicious indeed. Lovely combination 🙂 ela

    • afracooking said:

      Thank you Ela, it is so lovely of you to drop me a line!

  13. Sophie33 said:

    Yum Yum Yummm,…I love fish with lentils & spinach too. 😊

    • afracooking said:

      It really is such a yummy combination 🙂

      • Sophie33 said:

        I agree, I just made it. Perfect. X

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