Whole baked bream with tomato and chard

4
45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 bream, or bass, weighing approx. 600-800g in total. Ask your fishmonger to remove the bones while leaving the head on for presentation (a technique called canoeing)
  • 75ml of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 1 small carrot, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 125ml of white wine
  • 800g of tinned chopped tomatoes, excess juice drained
  • 550g of Swiss chard, or spinach, stalks removed and washed, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced, to season
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

1
Take the fish out of the fridge to allow them to come to room temperature
  • 2 bream, or bass, weighing approx. 600-800g in total. Ask your fishmonger to remove the bones while leaving the head on for presentation (a technique called canoeing)
2
Warm the olive oil in a large pan, then add the diced onion, carrot and celery and season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes until soft without colour
  • 75ml of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 1 small carrot, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced into 2cm cubes
  • salt
3
Add the bay leaves, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring to avoid colouration
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
4
Turn the heat up, add the white wine and reduce by two-thirds, then add the strained chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes
  • 125ml of white wine
  • 800g of tinned chopped tomatoes, excess juice drained
5
Add the chard to the sauce and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Taste and check the seasoning
  • 550g of Swiss chard, or spinach, stalks removed and washed, roughly chopped
6
Once the sauce is ready, preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Spoon the ragu into an ovenproof dish large enough to hold both fish and spread it evenly over the bottom
7
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil. Lay the fish in the tray and bake in the oven for 16 minutes
  • pepper
8
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 8 minutes. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley before serving
  • 1 lemon, juiced, to season
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley