Red mullets are one of the most popular of the southern French fish and are cooked in a variety of ways. This recipe assumes that the fish are medium in size, but if you can only obtain small ones, allow two per person.
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup live oil
700 g (1 1/2 lb) Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Dried thyme
1 Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Black olives, stoned (pitted)
225 g (8 oz) 2 cups Lemons, cut into
2 12 slices
6 Red mullets, cleaned and scaled but with the heads and tails left on
1. Heat the oil in a large frying-pan. Add the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and seasoning, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick.
2. Stir in the olives and lemon slices, then transfer half the mixture to a second frying-pan. Divide the fish between the pans and baste them with the sauce until they are well coated.
3. Cover and cook, turning the fish occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily.
4. Remove the bay leaf and serve at once.
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