The weather is just crazy here at the moment, you just don’t know what to eat. The weekend was like the middle of winter and then yesterday was glorious, sunny and warm. We haven’t had cod in a while so we felt like something light and summery seen as it was such a nice day.
Cod is not eaten much as a fresh fish in Italy and there is no such thing as fish “n”chips even though the best shops in Ireland are probably owned by Italians. Most Italians would eat “Baccala and Stoccafisso” which is cod salted and air-dried, Liguria and Veneto are the most famous for their baccala recipes. Italians are quite particular about their fish, if you’ve been to Italy especially around the coast most restaurants have fish tanks displaying their fresh range of fish that have more than likely been caught that day. Fish is served very simply, normally in it’s natural state -head and eyes intact(my mother has a heart attack every time) and in traditional Italian restaurants it is rarely served with a sauce, just a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt.
There is a port town about 2 hours from Atina on the way to the beach called Gaeta, it’s amazing to walk along the port and see all the fishing boats coming in with hordes of fresh fish and there is always a great atmosphere around there with all the excitement of the fresh fish and all the shouting from the mad Italian fishermen. It’s a different world!
The best way to eat fish is on the bone to get the most flavour, Bruno’s mom does the best and biggest sole on the bone you’ve ever seen in the family restaurant “La Piccola Italia”. Her fishmonger always sends her in whatever good fish he has in stock, last Friday we had really beautiful squid done in a simple white wine and parsley sauce with potatoes- mmmm!
This is a very easy dish as everything goes into the one tray in the oven and believe me with a 6 month old that’s all I have time for at the moment!!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- fresh cod – ask your fishmonger to fillet it for you (I get mine in Superquinn)
- 1 pack cherry tomatoes on the vine – cut in half (Irish tomatoes are really good at the moment)
- 1 onion – sliced
- 1 lemon – cut in 1/4
- juice of half lemon
- white wine
- flat leaf parsley – chopped. I know there is basil in the picture, I forgot to buy the parsley!
- 1 chili- diced (optional)
- sea salt and black pepper
- olive oil
- parchment paper
WHAT TO DO:
– line your oven tray with parchment paper and leave enough to cover the top.
– pour a couple of glugs of olive oil on the base of the tray and lay your onions on it.
– place your fish on the onions, season with salt and pepper and pour over your lemon juice .
– scatter your tomatoes, chili, lemon wedges and parsley around the fish.
– pour a splash of wine and a couple more glugs of olive oil.
– fold up your parchment around the fish – should be like a bag.
– cook for 30mins approx depending on the size of your fish. Be careful not to overcook!!
Serve with a simple rocket salad or fennel salad in our case!! You can also vary this recipe by adding some boiled potatoes chopped up and some green olives!!