This is one of the simplest ways of cooking fish, and if your fish is spanking fresh, there is no better way to cook a flat fish, in my humble opinion.


  • 1 whole turbot (approx 2kg)
  • water
  • sea salt

For the Watercress Butter:

  • 1 bunch of fresh watercress (approx 10 sprigs)
  • 100 g butter (softened)
  • juice of ½ a lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Score the flesh of both sides of the turbot quite deeply and diagonally at 5cm intervals.
  3. Season the fish well with sea salt and place the turbot, pale skin side down, in a large roasting tin. Pour in enough water so that half of the fish is immersed.
  4. Pop in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the flesh of the fish is cooked (when cooked, the flesh will be white and will come away from the bone easily).
  5. While the fish is cooking, make the watercress butter.
  6. Tear the leaves off the stalks and chop finely, then place in a bowl.
  7. Add the softened butter to the bowl along with the juice of half a lemon.
  8. Beat well, until all the watercress is well mixed through the butter.
  9. Tip the butter out onto a piece of cling film and shape the butter into a log about 2.5cms in diameter.
  10. Wrap the log in the cling film and place in the fridge to allow it to set.
  11. Once the turbot is cooked, remove from the oven.
  12. Carefully remove the skin and tip the fillets onto a serving dish.
  13. Take the watercress butter out of the fridge, cut into slices and place on top of each of the fillets.
  14. Delicious served with boiled new potatoes.


You can use plaice, brill, black sole or Dover sole instead of the turbot for this recipe and the watercress can be replaced with dill, wild garlic or fennel.