600g fresh tomatoes (in Winter, use grape tomatoes; in Summer various kinds are suitable)
3 red pointed peppers
1 cayenne pepper
3 garlic cloves
100mL olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
400g can peeled tomatoes
800g-1kg branzino in one piece, or another kind of white filleted fish
7 sprigs coriander
Good accompaniments to this dish are tahini and sourdough bread, which can be dunked in the delectable sauce. The fish can be replaced with prawns, calamari or octopus.
Cut out the stems of the fresh tomatoes and make a crisscross incision in the skin on the opposite end. Bring salted water (1 teaspoon salt per litre water) to the boil in a saucepan, add the tomatoes and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately immerse the tomatoes in iced water, pull off the skin and quarter the skinned tomatoes.
De-seed the two kinds of peppers and dice. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Put a large ovenproof saucepan over very high heat on the stove, briefly heat a small amount of olive oil in it, add the peppers and sauté briefly. Add the garlic and sauté along with the peppers for several seconds, then add the fresh and canned tomatoes and heat. Pour in the remaining olive oil and season with salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes over medium heat. Season with salt to taste.
Preheat the oven grill to 260 C. Cut branzino into slices, season with salt lightly and add to the sauce. Cook under the hot grill for about 10 minutes.
Pluck the coriander leaves from the stems and coarsely chop. Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the fish with olive oil and garnish with coriander. Serve hot.
Credits: Images and recipes from Tel Aviv by Neni, Photography by Nuriel Molcho, Murdoch Books RRP $49.99. Out now.