I really must spend more Sunday afternoons like this, writing blog posts whilst drinking tea (from a cup with the words ‘His Lordship’ on) and listening to Rod Stewart. Utter bliss. Don’t anybody call me or knock on my door. Today is mine to enjoy.
So, on Friday evening I cooked for the ladies, which meant a delicious Italian feast was in order. Well, I say I cooked; it was more of a team effort. But, boy were we rewarded for our efforts. Now, I don’t mind blowing my own proverbial trumpet every now and again… I don’t confess to knowing best when it comes to food, far from it, but this meal was amazing, it just worked so well. Each element of the dish came together to create a simple yet impressive meal, and it will definitely become a regular in my repertoire of go-to recipes. Just look at those colours, who wouldn’t want to eat that? Ok, I think that’s probably enough revelling in my own self praise for now.
You can use any white fish for this recipe, but I found cod was as good as any, and slightly cheaper than monkfish. And when it comes to the vegetables, just go with your own preference, I went for maximum colour. The best part is that there really is minimal prep work; everything is baked on a tray in the oven, so there’s no tiresome stirring or simmering, or sweating over the stove so to speak. Yes, I can be a very lazy cook at times, but who isn’t.
If you’re not keen on fish I think chicken would work equally well in this recipe.
The vegetables take slightly longer than the fish and garlic ciabatta, we found about 35 minutes for the vegetables was fine, then 20 minutes in we popped in the fish and bread. Naturally we washed it down with a good crisp Pinot.
2 large pieces of cod, each cut into three even sized pieces
6 slices of prosciutto
1 large courgette, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
2 red onions, chopped into wedges
Large bunch of tomatoes on the vine
50g pine nuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar/glaze
1 bunch of freshly chopped basil
3 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tbsp garlic infused oil
Place the chopped vegetables in a baking tray, cover with the oil, balsamic vinegar and pine nuts. Using your hands give it all a good mix up ensuring the vegetables are evenly coated with oil. Scatter over the chopped basil, season well and place in the oven at 200⁰C.
Meanwhile cut each fillet of cod into thirds (as evenly as possible) and wrap each piece in a slice of prosciutto, place on another baking tray and set aside.
Take the ciabatta loaf and using a bread knife slice at 1 inch intervals, ensuring you don’t slice all the way through the bread. Hold open the slots and drizzle with garlic infused oil. In a bowl mix the butter, garlic and parsley until completely combined, it helps if the butter is fairly soft. Using a knife smear the butter into each of the slices in the bread, then using the left over butter rub it across the top of the bread with your hands.
Once the vegetables have cooked for 20 minutes, place the bread and fish in the oven, cook for 15 minutes, then serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or vinegar to garnish.