Baked sea bream Rota-style
- 3 large waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, seeds removed, sliced
- 300g/10½oz tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 x 400g/14oz whole sea bream, scaled and gutted
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 4 tbsp dry sherry
- small handful flatleaf parsley, leaves chopped, to serve
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the picada
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Arrange the potatoes in an ovenproof dish large enough to accommodate the sea bream. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Bake for 20 minutes.
In a lidded frying pan, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Fry the onion, garlic and pepper for 10–15 minutes, or until soft. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and a little water, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and 10 turns of the black peppermill. Place on top of the cooked potato.
To make the picada, using a mortar and pestle, grind the parsley, garlic and salt together, then spread it over the fish.
Add 4 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice to the dish, then pour the tomato mixture over everything. Drizzle over the remaining oil and the sherry and bake for 20–25 minutes. Scatter the parsley over the top and serve immediately.
If you are lucky enough to get hold of a 1.5kg/3lb 5oz fish, double the quantities of the other ingredients and you can serve four.