Spain’s Costas don’t just serve up sun, sea and sand, they’re a real culinary blessing! Fish is a firm favourite here, and this dish calls for any type of white fillet – bream, cod, sea bass or mullet. Whipped up for James Villas by chef and author Jo Pratt, it’s equally tasty marinated and baked in a hot oven, or folded in foil parcels and cooked on your villa barbecue.
Spiced baked fish recipe
4 white fish fillets, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp hot or smoked paprika
Juice ½ lemon
2 lemons cut into wedges
250g green beans, halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained
400g black eyed beans, drained
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
2 large handfuls of rocket or baby spinach leaves
1 bunch dill, chopped
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
4 anchovies, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method for spiced baked fish recipe
1. For the fish, mix together the olive oil, paprika, lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the fish and turn to coat in the flavoured oil. Cover and set aside to marinade for about 30 minutes.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 then sit the fish on a baking tray or in a roasting dish and scatter around the lemon wedges. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and the lemons are softened and becoming golden.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the green beans until just tender. Drain and tip into a large mixing or salad bowl.
4. Mix the tinned beans, spring onions, avocado, green pepper, salad leaves and dill.
5. To make the dressing, mix together the capers, anchovies, red wine vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Season with black pepper and a small pinch of salt. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
6. Serve the cooked fish with lemon wedges to squeeze over, with a big bowl of salad and some patatas bravas on the side.
Mealtimes are about much more than food in Spain. Traditions hold fast here and meals are a real social affair. If you really want to dine Spanish-style you’ll need to reset your routine and prepare for a long and lazy night…
After an afternoon siesta, stave off hunger pangs with a few plates of tapas, because in Spain, dinner is late! In the summer restaurants will probably be pretty quiet until 9pm. When desserts are devoured and drinks are drained, don’t rush to pay ‘la cuenta.’ ‘Sobremesa’ – the time spent enjoying each other’s company after eating – is as enjoyable as the meal itself.