I discovered this recipe years ago through Mark Bittman, although, like so much else that works well in the kitchen it may actually be pretty ancient. It’s a treasure, regardless of its pedigree, and it’s extremely adaptable. I used hake this time, but it can also show off cod, monkfish, sea bass and a number of other choices.
By the way, the amount of oil called for in the recipe published in the Times might be reduced somewhat without compromising either the texture or taste of the potatoes, but what seems to be an outlandish amount of bay leaf and black olives turns out to be just about right.
- a little over a pound of hake fillet from Pura Vida, cooked for ten minutes in a hot oven in a ceramic pan on top of thinly-sliced red-skin ‘new potatoes’ which had already been baking for twenty minutes in a generous amount of olive oil before they were covered with a dozen bay (or laurel) leaves and nearly a cup of pitted black olives (half of them Kalamata, the other half Moroccan, because that was all I had)
- the last of some beet greens from Race Farm, braised with halved cloves of garlic from Berried Treasures
- the wine was a white Sardinian, La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2013