S E A B R E A M B A K E D
W I T H C A P E R S A N D O L I V E S
Preparation time: 7-10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Season: Bream is at its best from June until
100g Kalamata black olives (drained weight)
1 rounded tblsp capers
15g fresh thyme leaves
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 black or red sea bream, gutted (about 1 kg in
100 ml white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas 6.
Rinse the olives in a sieve, place them on a work surface, and crush them using the palm of your hand. Kalamata olives work particularly well for this recipe as they pit easily. If you can't find them, try another olive that pits well (one good way to find out is to eat one) or purchase pitted ones. Remove the pits from the olives. Give the capers a good rinse, especially if they've been preserved in salt. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and roughly chop to bruise the and release their flavour. Combine the olives, capers and thyme leaves together in a small bowl.
Drizzle olive oil onto a baking tray or shallow baking dish just large enough for the fish. Scale the fish (if it hasn't been done for you already) using the blunt side of a butter knife. Hold the fish by the tail over a sink. Scrape the fish from tail to head, away from you. If the fish is slipping out of your hands, dip the finger and thumb you use to hold the fish in salt. This should provide you with just enough grip to hold on to the fish. Using a sharp knife, slash the fish right down to the bone twice on each fillet side.
Scatter half of the olive mixture over the olive oil. Place the fish on top of the olive mixture and sprinkle over the wine. Finish with the remaining half of the olive mixture and a good seasoning of black pepper. Remember you are adding salt in the form of olive and capers so go easy on the salt seasoning. Cover the fish with foil and place in a preheated oven.
Cook for 20 minutes. After which time, remove foil and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Serve with boiled new potatoes. There will be some juice in the pan which works as a lovely light sauce.