Skate, Leek and Watercress Terrine


  • 12 thin leeks, or 3 larger ones, trimmed and rinsed
  • large bunch of watercress, leaves only
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) skate wings freshly ground white pepper sea salt


Use the white part of the leeks, and split the larger ones lengthways into 4. Poach in water for 15 minutes or so until tender. Remove from the water and drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, blanch the watercress. Season the skate, put into the vegetable cooking water, bring to just simmering point, put the lid on, and cook the fish for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove it from the heat. When cool enough to handle, take the fish out of the water and carefully remove the strands of flesh from the cartilage. Reduce the fish liquid and cool. Put a layer of fish in a loaf tin lined with clingfilm, then a layer of leeks, more fish, a layer of watercress, and finish with the rest of the fish, lightly seasoning each layer. Pour on about 200 mls (7 oz) reduced and cooled fish stock, and allow the whole thing to cool before covering and refrigerating until set. Turn out, slice carefully, and serve with some salad leaves and a sauce as described above.