I love to grow vegetables in my garden and this year, for the very first time, I tried to grow cherry tomatoes. A nice neighbour, who has a marvellous allotment near my house, gave me some seeds and I had a go. I must say that, despite putting too many plants in a little space, my attempt was quite successful! I was rewarded with many tomatoes from little effort – just regular watering.
When the small green tomatoes started to turn yellow, I thought that they were at the halfway mark to become red. I waited and waited, more green tomatoes turned yellow, but none of them was becoming red. As I usually do, I blamed the rainy, cloudy, windy English weather! One day, after having given up hope of ever having ripe red tomatoes, I picked a few of them to make a salad and….surprise, surprise …they were sweet, tasty, delicious. So I realised that I wasn’t growing red cherry tomatoes, but a different variety which is yellow when perfectly ripe. Silly me! I instantly become very proud of my tomatoes and they inspired some recipes. I have used them for salads, pasta, soups and for this super-easy, delicious, fish recipe: Mediterranean-style sea bass fillets.
- 4 sea bass fillets
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 10 olives
- 10 capers
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Cut the tomatoes in halves, peel the garlic. In a large nonstick pan, heat 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and add the tomatoes, garlic, olives and capers. Cook until the tomatoes start to soften, stirring occasionally.
Add the 4 fillets, skin-side down, reduce the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes with the lid on. Very gently, turn the fish a couple of times without overcooking it. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
The Mediterranean flavour of the sauce made from freshly picked tomatoes was delicious so I served it with some crusty bread to scoop up that sauce (‘Scarpetta’ in Italian). Any white fish can be used in this recipe – cod, haddock and hake would also be great.
This sauce is also called ‘Aeolian’, a sauce made with tomatoes, capers, olives, cooked both in a pan and in the oven and often used also to season pasta. The perfect match for the Mediterranean-style sea bass is a white or medium-bodied wine. Among the many possible options, for this dish I choose a Orvieto Classico DOC, a wine produced in Umbria and Lazio with a straw yellow colour, intense aroma and dry, soft, sweet taste.
I tried the vintage 2019 of the Bigi winery (see the link below) and I really liked it! https://www.gruppoitalianovini.it/index.cfm/it/brand/bigi
It is easy to buy this wine online or, for a more complete experience, you could treat yourself to a wine tour around Umbria and Central Italy!