Plaice with ras el hanout and roasted asparagus puts an unexpected African twist on our home-grown slender green beauties. This is also delicious with salmon and hake if you don't fancy plaice

Plaice with ras el hanout and roasted asparagus is a fresh spring supper perfect for warm evenings. If plaice isn’t your favourite, salmon and hake are also really good at this time of year and all of them work fantastically well with ras el hanout, an exotic north African spice mix. There is no exact blend that makes up ras el hanout. Purists insist it must have exactly 12 items but every shop, company and family may have their own blend.

There are many ways to enjoy British asparagus and it is packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals and, most importantly, flavour. Try our asparagus and almond soup for a delicious and simple starter, which can be enjoyed chilled or hot.


Ras el hanout is a fragrant, exotic north African spice mix that translates as “best of the shop”. It goes superbly with fish, especially salmon, hake and plaice, which are really good at this time of year.

When roasting asparagus choose the fatter spears as the slender ones become too chewy.

Serves 2

  • 400g whole asparagus
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 plaice fillets
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1⁄4 lemon
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine

Mint and lemon yoghurt:

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1 dsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt

For the mint and lemon yoghurt:

Use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic with a good sprinkling of salt. Finely chop the mint leaves and sir into the garlic with the olive oil and yoghurt.

For the plaice with ras el hanout and roasted asparagus:

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard (or save for vegetable stock), wash the tender ends, flick dry then place them flat in an ovenproof dish.

Wash the tomatoes and roughly dry, lay in the dish with the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and olive oil and roast for 15 minutes.

Season the plaice fillets with salt, pepper and the ras al hanout and then loosely roll. Place on top of the asparagus, squeeze over the lemon and splash in the wine.

Roast for a further seven minutes. Serve hot with the mint yoghurt. (This goes well with rice or couscous.)