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Baked Bream with Potatoes (Besugo al Horno)

ingredients

serves 4
2 x 1 kg (2 lb) Bream, each cleaned but with the head and tails left on
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 Lemon, cut into 6 sections
2 Small black olives
25 g (1 oz) 1/2 cup Fresh breadcrumbs
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs Chopped parsley
3 Medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 cm (1/4 in) rounds
1/2 tsp Black pepper
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Water
75 ml (3 fl oz) 3/8 cup Olive oil

method

1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F).

2. Wash and dry the fish on kitchen towels. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of salt and make three parallel, crosswise, cuts across each fish—they should be about 1 cm (1/2 in) deep, about 7 1/2 cm (3 in) long and about 4 cm (3 in) apart. Insert a section of lemon, skin side up, into each cut and insert an olive in the eye socket of each fish.

3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic, paprika and parsley. Spread the potato rounds evenly on the bottom of a large, shallow baking pan and sprinkle over the remaining salt and the pepper. Pour the water over the potatoes. Place the fish on top of the potatoes, then brush them all over with the oil. Sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Put the pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the fish flesh flakes easily. Remove from the oven and serve at once.

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