I always feel like I’m the last one to pick up my kids from school, probably because I always think that I have more time than I actually do or that I can get from A to B faster than I really can. Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne Market is practically next door to the school, and I stop in just about every day before picking them up. Of course, once I’m there I have to get a coffee, and then I bump into a friend and stop to chat for what seems like only a minute, and all of a sudden time has gotten away from me and I know I’ll only have a half-hour to cook dinner when we get home. Fortunately, this baked fish takes even less time than that. It’s a go-to for busy weeknights.
Cod, haddock, or scrod fillets – 4 (about 7 ounces/200 g each)
Extra-virgin olive oil – 5 tablespoons (75 ml)
Plum (Roma) tomatoes – 4
Green olives such as Castelventrano – 10
Fresh oregano sprigs – 5
Fine sea salt
Crusty bread such as ciabatta – 2 slices
Garlic cloves – 2
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Slice off the thin side flap from each fillet, saving for another use. Coat the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the fish in a single layer with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place the cod in the dish. Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons of the oil.
You want only the thick center portion of each fillet so the fish cooks evenly and doesn’t overcook.
3. To core the tomatoes easily, slice each one downward next to but not through the stem. Make two angled cuts into the larger half to release the core and discard.
4. Squeeze each tomato half over the fish, letting the juice and seeds fall mainly on the fish. Arrange the tomatoes around the fish. Smash each of the green olives under the flat side of your knife and discard the pit. Scatter the olives over the tomatoes. Chop the oregano leaves, discarding the stems, and sprinkle over the fish and vegetables. Season very lightly with salt.
You can choose from more delicious olive varieties if you are willing to take the pits out yourself.
This technique is so easy and much quicker than using an olive pitter!
5. Tear the bread into small pieces and process into coarse crumbs in a food processor. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife and discard the papery skins. With the machine running, drop the garlic through the feed tube of the processor to mince it. Return half of the crumbs to the processor with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and pulse to moisten. Add the remaining bread crumbs and pulse to combine everything. Use a spoon to sprinkle the garlic bread crumbs evenly over the fish and tomatoes.
6. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Serve hot, right from the dish.
Reprinted from Downtime: Deliciousness at Home by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2017, Nadine Levy Redzepi.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.