Why Oven Baked Fish?
This recipe is adapted from a recipe in one of my favourite cook books Falling for Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros. I fell in love with this book because of the heart and soul that has gone into it. Kiros has a unique and multicultural background, and in this cookbook she brings them all together, showing pride in her families histories and cultures while sharing some of her favourite recipes from around the globe.
I love her recipe for her oven baked fish because it is simple cooking done at its best. For me fish has to stay simple for the delicate flavour of the fish to shine. In this dish the sweetness of the tomatoes, the freshness of the parsley and earthy and slightly aniseed flavours of the fennel give the fish a fantastic background.
This dish is great to feed a large crowd. I simply put the whole pot on the table and serve it with simple boiled potatoes and crunchy bread to soak up all the juices.
1 kilo firm white fish, cut into 6-8cm pieces
400g tin tomatoes, with their juice
1 bunch chopped parsley
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 lemons, juiced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Crusty bread, to serve
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof dish with olive oil and place the fish in a single layer. In a bowl mix together the tomatoes, parsley, garlic, celery, sugar, fennel lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste.
Pour over the fish, making sure it is all covered. Cover with foil or a lid and bake in oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil or lid and increase the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for another 40-50 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and the top of the fish is golden in someplace.
Serve with crusty bread to soak up the juices.