This recipe was made by pure chance on a hot day in July when I had a delicious peperonata in the fridge and I was bored to prepare Dorade fillets in the standard way – baked in the oven with potatoes.
It was a great surprise to discover how the peppers are not suitable only for meat dishes, but they pair extraordinarily well with a delicate fish such as Dorade. The peppers add a lot of juice to the fish and makes it exciting – the fish and pepper flavor are very different but they do not overwhelm each other, instead they create a nice contrast in your mouth .
Ingredients for 4 persons:
2-3 red and yellow peppers, cut in 4 pieces
1 white onion, sliced thin
1/2 celery branch, cut in 5 cm long, 5 mm wide chunks
1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
8 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
8 Dorade fillets of 125-150 g each
First, preheat the oven on 180º C.
In a pan fry onions and celery on the olive oil over low heat, stirring several times, until onion wilts. Add tomato concentrate diluted in a cup of warm water and then add the peppers. Cover everything and stir from time to time. Add salt and pepper according to your taste, add more water if it evaporates. In 10-15 minutes peperonata should be ready. The peppers should remain al dente, i.e. they should be cooked to the tender crisp phase, otherwise they will overcook later in the owen.
Now, let’s get to the fish, the beloved Dorade all over Mediterranean. In Croatia it is rare that fishmonger will prepare you fish fillets, so I had to do it by myself. It is not necessary to remove the skin.
On a large pieces of baking paper spread enough peperonata that you can place two fillets on top, skin downwards. Pour the olive oil over the fillets and add some sea salt. Fold the baking paper so that you form a wrap but do not completely close the ingredients – you should be able to see the fillets. Put the wraps in the oven for 10-15 minutes, the fish cooks very quickly. Serve with steamed potatoes.
Pairs great with Istrian Malvasia aged in wood, or some good whites from nearby Slovenia and Friuli – Pinot Gris, Tocai Friulano, Sauvignon, Ribolla Gialla…