During our exploration of some fresh mackerel with the pre-school children at our Atworth nursery, we talked about what the children thought tasted good with fish. I have to confess there were some predictably hilarious suggestions – anyone fancy roast tractor and fish? – but we also had some ideas that were easier to work with.
Using the children’s favourite things to eat with fish, we came up with a recipe which, in all honesty, owes a lot to Greece, but with some twists. So, here we have a baked dish of mackerel with potato, tomato, parsley, lemon and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.
A more traditional Greek version would feature a firm white fish and oregano and would probably leave out the breadcrumbs. Come to think of it, you could use orange slices instead of lemons, as you sometimes see in patatas bravas on a tapas menu. Feel free to improvise.
500g waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
½ lemon, sliced
A good handful of cherry tomatoes, halved, or 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, drained
300g fresh mackerel fillets (or any firm fish), cut into chunks
Small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Fresh breadcrumbs (blitz two slices of bread then lightly mix in a little olive oil to coat and half of the chopped parsley)
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
Combine the potatoes, onion, garlic and olive oil in a roasting tin, mixing together with your hands to coat everything in oil.
Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then scatter in the cherry tomatoes or, if using tinned, tip in the drained tomatoes and mix to coat the potatoes.
Return to the oven and roast for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly cooked through.
Lay the lemon slices and fish on the top of the potatoes, then sprinkle with the parsley breadcrumbs and bake for 10 more minutes until the fish is cooked but not dry.
Serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled over and a green vegetable of your choice to accompany it.