This dish is bursting with flavour and is the perfect treatment for less expensive varieties of fish.
¼ cup golden raisins
½ cup very hot water
¼ preserved lemon
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 medium vine tomatoes, halved
6 Kalamata black olives, pitted
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp peeled and finely grated ginger
¼ tsp chilli flakes
4 Tbsp olive oil for frying fish
350g (about 12 oz) skinned and boned gurnard fillets, or small white fish fillets of your choice
2 Tbsp standard flour
Flaky sea salt
60g (2-3 oz) baby spinach leaves
1 cup green lentils, cooked, to serve (optional)
1 Soak raisins in just-boiled water for 10 minutes, then drain. Rinse preserved lemon under running water, flicking out the pulp. Pat rind dry and slice thinly.
2 Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over medium heat. When oil is hot, add tomatoes cut side down. Sizzle for about a minute. Add olives, garlic, rosemary, ginger, chilli flakes and drained raisins and chopped lemon rind. Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing gently. Turn off the heat.
3 Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Check fish for scales then cut each fillet into 3-4 pieces. Dust with flour and add to pan when oil is nice and hot. Cook fish without moving it around the pan (just leave it where it falls when you add it) and when it is nice and golden, turn pieces over and cook briefly, for 1-2 minutes (if you cook both sides of the fillets until golden the fish will be overcooked). Transfer fish to a warmed plate and season lightly with salt.
4 Gently reheat tomato and spice mixture. Add spinach leaves and let them wilt into mixture. Dish fish onto lentils (if serving) and spoon tomato and spice mixture over the top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.
When a recipe calls for ‘extra virgin olive oil for drizzling’, it needs to be of really good quality, preferably a recently pressed oil bursting with olive character and rich in nutrients. In this dish, a lemon, lime or yuzu infused oil would be delicious.