One of the reasons I started the My Week in Food series was because I was increasingly finding that I had an idea for something to cook for the blog – only to discover I’d done it a couple of years earlier or even four years ago, as happened last night. In the end my turbot dish was a bit different to the Sea Bream Roasted with New Potatoes, Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs that I posted in July 2012 but do take a look at that one too for the background story of how a trip to Rome led to this way of roasting fish becoming so popular in my family.
The meal really began with me wanting to use up the gremolata I made on Thursday; even in the fridge it wasn’t going to last well for too long and I didn’t want to waste it. Various things crossed my mind, including grilling some steak … I don’t have steak often but like it occasionally. However, it was so warm and sunny, a really lovely summer’s day, that I felt fish would be the thing. I like fish so much I’m not sure why I don’t cook it more often – this week obviously being an exception! I more often choose fish in a restaurant than meat. As I made my way to the local fishmongers, Sandys, I played with the idea that they might have some wild salmon and thought that would be wonderful – even though I had salmon on Monday. A board outside the shop proclaimed they had wild black sea bream – well, that’s pretty special too! Choices! But when I saw the fillets of turbot, I just couldn’t resist.
Turbot – turbot in French; rombo in Italian; rodaballo in Spanish; steinbutt in German – is a king amongst fish. Firm white flesh, it is easy to fillet and has a wonderful flavour. It is also expensive. My fillet – half the fish – cost over £9. It was too much for one though and I cut down the middle to make one good-sized fillet; the other smaller one I froze for another day.
I decided to cook it on top of the bed of new potatoes, shallot and baby tomatoes. I had some delicious, sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine which would be perfect.
I boiled some new potatoes until just tender. When they’d cooled, I cut them into thickish slices and put in the bottom of an ovenproof dish with finely chopped shallot. I drizzled over some extra virgin olive oil.
Then I put it in a preheated hot oven, 220C/200 Fan/Gas 7, for about 15 minutes until nicely browning – but not too brown.
Meanwhile, I cut a few baby tomatoes in half and spread a good amount of the gremolata across the fish. I decided to cook the gremolata with the fish rather than serve it fresh as I’d done with the cod. Cooking the fish would take a short time so the sauce wouldn’t burn and spoil and I liked the idea of the flavour seeping into the fish.
When the potatoes were ready, I scattered the tomato halves round the edge and then lay the fish on top, drizzling over a little extra olive oil.
I returned to the oven for about 15-20 minutes – until the fish was cooked through and everything nicely coloured.
I made a simple green salad of baby gem lettuce, rocket and sliced fennel to accompany it.
It was warm enough to eat in the garden; a glass of Provençal rosé to go with the meal adding to the summery feel.
It was a real treat. The fish was gorgeous – firm yet moist and tender with a lovely delicate flavour, enhanced by the gremolata topping. The bed of roasted sweet tomatoes, little new potatoes and shallot was delicious. A fabulous meal!