I’VE SUDDENLY TURNED INTO A FISH PERSON. THAT’S A SHOCKER FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME.
I’ve always been Leone STEAK Lakhani. You could give me a ribeye for breakfast. You still can. But there’s so much you can do with fresh fish. This is perfect for a special occasion.
It’s yet another brilliant Ottolenghi dish, based on a Corsican recipe.
HERE’S MY TAKE:
Serves 4 (or more, depending on the size of the fish).
- 750g medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced (about half an inch, in thickness)
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 4 sprigs of sage
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 dried red chilli (Optional, but I also add a chopped fresh chilli. I like the oil spicy.)
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 4 large tomatoes, sliced (half an inch, in thickness)
- ½ white onion, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 lemons: 1 thinly sliced, 1 for serving
- 1 whole fresh fish – trout, bass or bream, gutted and scaled (about 1kg or 2.5 pounds in weight)
- Salt and black pepper
*Don’t forget to scroll down for your Savory Sounds cooking soundtrack.
- Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until they are almost cooked but still slightly hard. Run under cold water, drain and set aside.
- Put the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add 2 sprigs each of the rosemary and sage. Add All the thyme, garlic, chilli and fennel seeds. Lower to a gentle heat and let the herbs stew in the oil until the garlic turns golden brown. BE CAREFUL that the garlic and herbs don’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Take a large shallow roasting tray, and brush it with some of the infused oil. Line the base with a layer of potatoes and tomatoes, if you’re using them. Brush the veggies with more oil.
- Sprinkle on the diced onion. Season the whole tray with salt and pepper.
- Put the tray into the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes start to dry out and the potatoes start to brown around the edges.
- Season the fish inside and out with plenty of salt and pepper. Brush the oil on the fish, inside and out. Be generous! Drizzle some of the herbs from the oil all over the fish.
- Put the lemon slices and the remaining rosemary inside the cavity of the fish (you can use more, depending on the size of the fish).
- Place the fish on top of the potatoes. Return to the oven and roast the fish until cooked through, approximately 20-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush on a bit more of the oil before serving. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon all over the fish, inside and out. It really livens up the whole dish.
Make some extra oil and store it. It just gets better with time, and you can use it on almost anything! Bon Appetit!
AT A DINNER, MY MUSIC STARTS IN A MELLOW TONE AND BUILDS UP. It allows for conversation during dinner, and then picks up your guests afterwards.
Here’s a sample of the type of songs I’d play over the course of a dinner party. This is a happy feel-good track from Sol, with an Otis Redding vibe.
I have yet to hear a bad tune from British band Shine, but this is my fave!
Euro-track time. This is a remix from Danish trio Chinah.
Cheesy song remixed. A loungier (and better ) version of the original.