Whole sea bream are perfect for cooking in the oven, and this recipe roasts them on top of new potatoes, which soak up the stock, wine and cooking juices. This dish is perfect served as a centrepiece straight from the oven to the table.
Sea bream is a particularly juicy white fish with a pleasantly neutral flavour and a slight sweetness. For these reasons, it can be cooked either with delicate flavours that allow its natural flavour to shine through, or with more robust ingredients, which demonstrate the bream’s suitability as a blank canvas for punchier sauces.
1. Place a large pan over a medium heat with a dash of the oil, then add the cinnamon stick, onion and garlic and sweat down for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the green pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the ground spices and cook out for a further couple of minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 190ºC/fan 170ºC/375ºF/gas mark 6.
3. Add the white wine to the pan and reduce by half. Then add in the sliced potatoes, the olives with the brine, the preserved lemons, bay leaf and vegetable stock and simmer for around 8 minutes – the potatoes should be starting to soften slightly but not cooked through.
4.Transfer the potato mixture to a large oven-proof dish, and place the sea bream on top. Drizzle the bream with a little oil and season with salt and pepper then bake for 20-30 minutes (depending upon the size of the fish) until the potatoes are tender, and the bream is starting to crisp up – et voila!