THIS week has been busy in the Olive Tree Farm kitchen. As the weather has warmed up, it has been a pleasure to sit outside and enjoy meals in the fresh air.
I have tried a few new recipes out and this week’s recipe is one of them. Dorada, or Gilt-Head Bream in English, is white fleshed fish with a creamy texture. Although you can get quite large ones, they are nice to serve as a whole fish for one person, so the smaller ones are excellent for this purpose.
Once baked the skin becomes crisp and the flesh is very easy to remove from the bones. The lemon sauce was made using some of my preserved lemons. It is a tart sauce, but by adding honey to your own taste, it reduces the sharpness and it is the perfect accompaniment for fish.
1 small Dorada per person
Dill (Eneldo) – Dried or freshfinely chopped
One large lemon – cut one slice off for each fish you are baking
Salt and black pepper
For the preserved lemon sauce
One whole preserved lemon – Wash and soak in a couple of fresh water changes for about an hour to reduce the salt level
1 finely sliced clove of garlic
Half a fresh lemon for the juice
The Fish – Wash and dry each fish. Take a sheet of baking foil or baking paper per fish, and spray or brush with a little olive oil. Brush the fish with a little more olive oil. Season the fish inside and out, insert a lemon slice into the opening on the belly of the fish and sprinkle inside and on the skin with the dill. Wrap the fish in the foil or paper to seal in the juices in individual parcels. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 deg C for around 25 minutes. Uncover and grill for another 5 minutes to crisp off the skin. Whilst it is baking make the sauce.
The Lemon Sauce – Warm 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan along with the slices of garlic. Heat it through over a medium heat for a few minutes. You do not want the garlic to go brown, you just want the flavours to taint the oil. Leave to cool. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
After rinsing and soaking the preserved lemons, place them, skin and flesh, in a food processor along with 2 tablespoons of the cooled olive oil, the garlic, a tablespoon of honey a squirt of fresh lemon juice and black pepper. Do not add salt.
Whizz it until it is smooth. Add more of the olive oil until you get a nice silky consistency. Taste and add more black pepper or honey to your own palette.
Serve the fish whilst hot on a bed of green salad leaves, along with the sauce. I kept the sauce separate from the fish. A side dish of couscous or rice makes a nice accompaniment. And don’t forget the white wine!
NB – If you burn the garlic when warming it for the sauce, start again, as it will have a bitter taste.