Lavraki Plaki (oven-baked sea bass)
The flavours in this dish will transport you straight to the Mediterranean
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 whole sea bass, about 1kg, filleted or left whole
500g potatoes, peeled
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced in half moons
6 medium tomatoes, diced, or one 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried thyme, oregano, or rosemary
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Salt the fish generously and let it sit in the fridge while you make the sauce. Cut the potatoes into 2-inch-long-by-1-inch-wide pieces and place in a medium bowl. Cover with cold water.
2. Coat a medium frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Place over medium high heat, add the onion and cook until translucent and just starting to take colour. Add the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes then add the potatoes and 250ml of water. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/R6.
4. Lay the fish in a baking dish and pour the sauce over it, scattering the potatoes around the sides. Add another 250ml of water so it reaches halfway up the potatoes and is just about to cover the fish.
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent the dish from drying out. If the potatoes need more time than the fish, remove the fish and transfer it on to a plate then return the potatoes to the oven for a few minutes more. Serve in the baking dish or on a platter you love!
Recipe and image courtesy of Cooking with Loula by Alexandra Stratou (Artisan, £20). Copyright © 2016.