Roasted and stuffed like these sea breams

The sun is out, the temperature rises till 30 degrees, and all you can really think about is lounging in the park to soak up in some honest-to-goodness vitamine D. Read: Roast yourself under the sun. And why not? After months and months of cold grey weather, even the littlest of sunshine gives you the giddy vibes. So that is exactly what our past week had us busy with – squeezing in some sun-time in our daily routines.

Apart from craving for more and more outdoorsy-under-the-sun sessions, our appetite for food shifts to the light and cool dishes. I’m not saying we’ve completely dropped bread and cheese off of our shopping lists. We are, afterall, sandwiched between France and Switzerland, so let’s not kid ourselves. I have to say though that salads and seafood are becoming a top craving these days. That among other cravings like grilled meat, fresh fruits and gelato.

So to satiate this seafood craving, we recently made our version of Ottolenghi‘s Whole black bream with pine nuts and lemon. Not entirely a light and cool dish, and probably even the exact opposite of light and cool, but the fish and citrus flavours of this dish makes it perfect for these hot almost-summer days!

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Seriously divine. It’s hot and spicy, and despite the heat, we couldn’t get enough of it. Eating this will make you want to jump into the lake after, so make sure a nice body of water is within reach.

Roasted stuffed sea bream
Serves 3-6

6 small sea bream, scaled and gutted
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon juice
3 tbsp paprika
1½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp salt

150g short grain rice, cooked/steamed
150ml water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
½ preserved lemon, flesh only, finely chopped
60g toasted pine nuts
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper

3 courgettes/zucchini, sliced into round discs
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 a stem of a leek (or 1 small stem)
1 bloody orange, thinly sliced

Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne pepper, 4 crushed garlic cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the fish and marinade for two hours.

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To make the stuffing, simply mix together the second part of the ingredients in a big bowl (rice, water, 2 crushed garlic cloves, onion, celery, preserved lemon, pine nuts, cinnamon, allspice, paprika, salt and pepper). Set aside.

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Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Boil water in a small pot, and cook the courgette, carrots and leeks in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Do not overcook so the vegetables do not become too soft and mushy. Drain out the water and set aside. When done marinating the fish, separate the marinade from the fish. Pour the rest of the marinade into the cooked vegetables and stir to cover the courgettes and carrots completely. Now, it’s time to layer the ingredients in a baking pan. Line your pyrex with a bit of olive oil. Lay your veggies on the bottom of the pan. Place the orange slices over the veggies, and drizzle with olive oil.

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Take your stuffing, and start filling the tummy and the head of the fish with it. Arrange the stuffed fish over the veggies. If you have extra stuffing, you can spread it over the veggies besides the sea breams. Give the dish another drizzle of olive oil, and cook in the oven at 200°C for 30-45 minutes.

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There you go! You can feast on it with a side of steamed jasmine rice like we did or a nice warm tortilla.

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And to complete this meal, pair it with a nice bottle of white wine like this Comte de Genève from Satigny. Yumm!! Enjoy the heat, folks! ✌︎

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