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Roast Hake, Samphire & Tomato Salad
Roast Hake, Samphire & Tomato Salad
French
Main
30 mins
Fish
Easy
Serves
4

Samphire and tomatoes are, I suppose, where the British summer meets its Mediterranean counterpart. These two ingredients combine really nicely, especially when dressed with plenty of herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Both have a pleasing juicy, succulence going on. Samphire and tomatoes pair well with any fish. Grilled oily sardines or mackerel would be great, but here I’ve chosen a pristine piece of firm hake, which flakes nicely into the salad. The fish is roasted on the bone over a bed of herbs with a little wine. Cooking it this way ensures the moist flesh can be eased off the bone. This is especially delicious with a generous blob of homemade mayonnaise or aïoli served alongside. Some boiled and dressed lentils would also be a welcome addition to this dish, if used sparingly.

Extract credit to: Sardine: Simple seasonal Provençal cooking by Alex Jackson, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Matt Russell.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • A fat piece of hake or any other flaky white fish, on the bone, weighing approximately 1kg/2lb 4oz, scaled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Branches of rosemary, thyme, bay and tarragon, all on the stalk, for a bed of herbs
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, 1⁄2 sliced into rounds, plus 1⁄2 for juicing
  • 1 large glass dry white wine (200ml/ 7fl oz)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 juicy large tomatoes (Amalfi Italian for preference)
  • 100g/ 3 1⁄2oz samphire, washed (this absolutely must be English or French as the imported Israeli stuff is bitter, stringy and horrible)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp each roughly chopped parsley and tarragon leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black
  • Pepper
Method
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Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  2. Select an appropriate size roasting dish for the fish: it needs to be a snug fit.
  3. Drizzle the dish with olive oil and build a bed of herbs. Season the hake with salt and pepper both inside and out. Nestle the fish in the herbs, slide a few slices of lemon inside the fish with some tarragon stalks too. Pour over the wine, drizzle liberally with olive oil, then dot the fish with butter.
  4. Roast the hake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the flesh offers very little resistance when pierced to the bone with a skewer. If you can, it’s best to remove the fish from the oven when it is almost cooked as it will continue to steam and cook on the bone while you assemble the rest of the dish. If the wine threatens to boil away during cooking, add a splash of water. Ideally there will be some buttery, winey juices left in the bottom of the dish.
  5. To bring it all together, cut the tomatoes into fat chunks, then season with salt and pepper. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Cook the samphire in the boiling water for only a minute or two, or until soft and succulent. (Do not add salt.) Drain and set aside. Combine the tomatoes with the samphire, while it’s still warm, and dress them with olive oil, lemon juice and chopped herbs.
  6. Arrange the still-warm tomato and samphire salad on a serving platter.
  7. Flake the hake flesh off the bone in big pieces and lay them just to the side of the salad. Drizzle any buttery, winey juices from the roasting dish over the fish.
  8. A crusty baguette would do a first-class job of mopping up the juices here, making an impromptu open sandwich of warm, buttery fish and juicy tomatoes.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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