The dried aromatic herbs of the Corsican maquis were a real revelation to me. They are truly amazing, like nothing I’ve ever taste before. If you can get a bag of dried Corsican herbs – they are around though hard to find – grab it with both hands. If you can’t get it, use other dried or fresh herbs to infuse your oil.
750g King Edward potatoes, peeled and sliced 3mm thick (700g net)
250ml olive oil
4 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of sage
5 sprigs thyme
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ dried red chilli
2 tsp fennel seeds
4 large tomatoes, sliced 5mm thick (1kg net)
½ white onion, finely chopped (100g net)
½ lemon, thinly sliced
1 whole ling, bass or bream, gutted and scaled (800g net)
Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes they are almost cooked but are still slightly hard. Drain, refresh under running cold water and leave aside to dry.
- Put the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add 2 sprigs of the rosemary, the sage, thyme, garlic, chilli and fennel seeds. Place on a gentle heat and cool until the garlic turns golden-brown, about 7 minutes; watch that the garlic and herbs don’t burn. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Take a large shallow roasting tray, 40x30 centimetres, and brush it with some of the infused oil. Starting at one corner of the baking tray, overlap the potatoes in a line across the top. Next arrange a line of tomatoes, slightly overlapping the potatoes. Repeat the process with potatoes and tomatoes until the whole tray is lined with alternating red and white stripes of the vegetables. Brush the top with more infused oil. Sprinkle on the diced onion, ½ a teaspoon of salt and a generous crack of black pepper. Put the tray into the oven for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have started to dry out and the potatoes are starting to brown around the edges.
- Put the lemon slices and the remaining 2 sprigs of rosemary inside the cavity of the fish and place on top of the potatoes. Brush the fish some of the infused oil and sprinkle with a ¼ of a teaspoon of salt. Return to the oven and roast the fish until cooked through, approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve topped with more infused oil and the slices of crispy garlic and herbs.