I’d been waiting for the sun to come out again before I posted this beaut of a recipe, however that seems highly unlikely given the fact that the UK is destined to be cold, wet, windy and grey for the foreseeable future. Today for example, not only did it rain, but it was 10.5°c and so grey it seemed like dusk. This is England. In June.
Red mullet or barbouni as they say in Greek has been a long time fave. Grilled barbouni with a village salad and potatoes is something I would regularly devour when staying in Cyprus. Over there, the red mullet is of amazing quality and relatively cheap, and the fish themselves are smaller than the size I often find at my local monger.
Nevertheless and regardless of size, I urge anyone who is yet to try this delightful and delectable fish to do so immediately. Simply splash a little oil, slice some fennel, chuck in some herbs and bam you’re good to go my friends.
- Either two large or 4 small whole red mullet OR you could use fillets (allowing 1-2 fillets, per person)
- Around half of a fennel, finely sliced
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 10 on the vine cherry tomatoes
- A generous bunch of fresh oregano, or marjoram, roughly chopped
- A slightly less generous bunch of fresh mint, roughly chopped
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 200°c
Quite simply take two baking trays. In one, throw in your fish and cherry tomatoes. Add a good glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, the chopped herbs and season. Give it a good toss and set aside.
In the other pan toss in your fennel and shallots and spread them out. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
Place both trays in the oven side by side, and roast for around 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your fish. When it’s done the fish will appear opaque and white in colour (the scales still red), and it will flake when you prod it with a fork.
For me this makes a great meal on its own, but this would go well with potatoes or parsnip.