The leaves are falling and the streets are wrapped in colour. Reds, oranges, browns and all shades of green. When scuffing through giant acorn leaves on my way to the tube yesterday, I thought that perhaps my first meal back on the blog after arriving home in London should reflect the colours and atmosphere of the season.
Inspired by a Rick Stein method for roasting fish on top of vegetables, this is what I came up wtih for dinner, and it was a nutritious, delicious comfort meal on a chilly October evening. Serves 3-4.
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 3 sweet potato
- 3 large red peppers, pitted and widely sliced.
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 3-4 small seabass or 1 large seabass (bream/snapper would work too)
- large handful fresh lemon verbena (use oregano if you don’t have verbena), roughly torn.
- 2 large pinches dried oregano
- 200ml chicken stock
- olive oil
- 6-10 anchovies (in olive oil, drained)
- 150gm green beans
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Peel the sweet potato and cut slices about 1cm thick. In the bottom of a large roasting tray/casserole-dish splash a little olive oil to lightly coat the base. Lay out the leeks, sweet potato, red peppers and tomatoes. Spread the anchovies out over the top of the vegetables and pour over the chicken stock. Salt and pepper and add the fresh and dried herbs. Peel the garlic and slice (about 4-5 slices per clove). Sprinkle garlic over the top. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Wash and pat dry the seabass with a paper towel. Cut slashes across the fish going both ways to create a criss cross (see photos). Season with salt and pepper and coat lightly with a little olive oil. Place the fish on top of the roast vegetables (after 30 minutes) and return to the oven for another 30 minutes (try 35 if you use one large fish). When 15 minutes is left on your timer, scatter the beans over the vegetables around the fish.
I served this at the table and it was a beautiful. The bed of vegetables with all their colours made for a bright and cheery evening, and this is a super-healthy, extremely nutritious meal. Enjoy!