Recipe: Pan-fried Whiting with Celery and Pomegranate Salad »

From Maggie's Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins

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<i>Maggie's Recipe for Life</i> by Maggie Beer

Maggie's Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer [©Simon & Schuster Australia]

Pan fried whiting with celery and pomegranate salad


Maggie Beer wants you to eat well and age well from this point on, and to get us motivated she's serving up over 200 recipes for food that is not only simply delicious (of course) but also full of the nutrition for optimum brain health.

Using the latest scientific research, Maggie has compiled these recipes in a book Maggie's Recipe for Life that she says is very important to her. It combines her love of cooking tasty, simple food with her passion for improving the health of older people. But this isn't a book for 'old' people – it's for people your age now – whatever number that is!

Proceeds from Maggie's Recipe for Life will be shared between the Maggie Beer Foundation and the Lions Alzheimers' Research Foundation.

Here's a recipe from the book for the delicate and delectable fish, whiting, along with a fresh, flavoursome salad. 

Maggie writes:

With the exception of keen anglers who can catch their own, most of us have to buy our fish. Whiting is such a delicate and delicious fish so do buy it when you see it! All it needs is a quick fry in butter, with a bit of salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and perhaps a sprinkling of parsley. You could serve it with some purple potatoes made into chips, just think of that colour!

The salad is a wonderful accompaniment to the simply cooked fish, but it could easily be made into a stand-alone dish for lunch with some fresh ricotta.

I love this style of cooking. It’s just about pulling ideas together and combining great flavours with a minimum of fuss.


Pan-fried Whiting with Celery and Pomegranate Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients –  fish:

  • 4 x 160-180 g skinless whiting fillets,bones removed
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Ingredients – Celery and Pomegranate Salad

  • 80 g green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, tough outer leaves removed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 large sticks celery, thinly sliced
  • ½ small Lebanese cucumber, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


To make the salad, rinse the lentils, then place in a saucepan with 4 times the amount of cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and spread out on a tray so they don’t continue to cook. Place in a bowl and drizzle with a little of the olive oil.

About 10 minutes before serving, using a mandolin, thinly slice the fennel into a bowl. Toss through the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice and stand for 10 minutes.

Just before serving, add the celery, cucumber, parsley, pomegranate seeds and lentils and toss to combine well. Season to taste.

Heat 2 large frying pans over high heat so you don’t overcrowd the pan and ‘poach’ the fish rather than pan-fry it (see note). Season the fish, add a drizzle of olive oil to both pans and, when hot, add 2 fillets to each pan.

Cook for 2 minutes on each side, then divide the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley between the pans. Shake to gently combine, then serve immediately with the salad.

Note: If you don’t have 2 large frying pans that can fit comfortably on your stove top, preheat the oven to 150°C (fan-forced) and keep half the cooked fish warm (covered loosely with foil) while you cook the remaining fillets, but be careful not to overcook it.


Whiting is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, it also provides selenium, and vitamins B3, B6 and B12.


This recipe from Maggie's Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins and photography by Dragan Radocaj is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers.

Read more on Maggie's Recipe for Life here » 

See links below for more recipes from this book and reviews of other Maggie Beer books.

Maggie's Recipe for Life is published by Simon & Schuster Australia (Sydney, NSW; Oct 2017; Pb; RRP A$39..99) It is available from all good bookstores and if you are lucky, in Kmart.

It can also be purchased online via »


  • Barossa Valley (SA)

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April 12th, 2018
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