A simple recipe for oven-baked fish for which you could also use seabream or seabass.
- Cherry tomatoes are exceptionally tasty, sweet and aromatic when in season, which means in the summer. The same goes for fresh basil. You can replace the basil with fresh oregano or thyme.
- If you are using tomatoes rather than cherry tomatoes remove the seeds and cube them.
- Be generous with the salt and don’t be afraid to overdo it with the extra basil (or oregano or thyme) at the finish line!
Preparation: 10-15 minutes – Cooking time: 30 minutes
Rub salt and black pepper onto the fish and the vegetables. Cut the potatoes into thin slices of approx. 4mm. Any citrus you decide to use needs to be sliced at similar thickness. If you choose to use more ingredients for the base, especially potatoes, cook them for 10 minutes before adding the fish, to ensure everything is evenly cooked at the end.
1 whole fresh, Greek aquaculture Pagrus (approx. 1 kg), scaled and gutted
400 gr baby potatoes
250 gr cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup black olives, stones removed
8-10 sliced kumquats, or 4 slices of lemon and 4 slices of orange, cut into triangles
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
100 ml dry white wine
2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly chopped
5 large basil leaves or 1 cup of smaller, chopped leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 210oC
Prepare the vegetables: Wash and evenly slice the baby potatoes, using the slicing tool (mandolin). Place them, covering the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Salt & pepper well. Spread on top evenly the halved tomatoes, sliced kumquats or other citrus, olives, half the chopped garlic and 1/3 of the basil on top of the potatoes, creating a bed for the fish. Salt & pepper again.
Prepare the pagrus: Rub the fish with salt and pepper, inside and out. Place the remaining garlic and basil leaves in the fish’s belly and place the fish on the bed of vegetables. Pour the olive oil in lines over the contents of the dish and the wine in the corners (not on top of the fish so as not to rinse the salt and pepper).
Baking: Place the dish in the pre-heated oven and turn the temperature down to 200oC. Bake for 30 minutes.
Serving: Depending on what kind of baking dish you have used, you can either serve the fish directly from there or move it to a clean serving dish, carefully lifting the bed of vegetables with a spatula. Add extra basil on top and pour 2-3 spoonfuls of the cooking juices over the fish.