This whole fish stew is my ode to the Mediterranean: fresh, light and thoroughly delicious. Fish on the bone always tastes better.
- 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 mild chorizo sausage, diced
- 1 onion, roughly diced
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 160 g baby red capsicums, halved lengthways
- 300 g cherry tomatoes
- 120 ml white wine
- ½ bunch of tarragon, leaves picked
- ½ bunch of basil, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
- 1 x 600 g whole baby snapper, cleaned
- lemon halves, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan-forced). Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelised. Add the onion, garlic and capsicum and cook for 4–5 minutes or until soft, then add the cherry tomatoes and toss through to combine.
- Pour in the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan, then bring the mixture to the boil and add 120 ml of water. Bring the mixture back to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Throw in the herbs and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes, until the tomatoes have collapsed and the mixture becomes stew-like. Spoon half the tomato mixture onto the base of a small roasting tin and place the snapper on top. Cover the fish with the remaining tomato sauce, then transfer to the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the snapper has a core temperature of 50°C on a kitchen thermometer.
- Remove the tin from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then scatter with extra basil, take to the table and serve with lemon halves on the side.
The Commonsense Cook
by Colin Fassnidge,
Published by Plum, RRP $39.99,
Photography by Alan Benson