Braised Fish With Vegetables
Pilaki or braised fish stews are not only prepared with fish but also with shellfish such as mussels and clams, or legumes. The main ingredients of pilaki are onions, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, parsley and olive oil. Potatoes, carrots and celeriac enhance the flavors further. All the ingredients are simmered gently on the stove over a low heat with a small amount of water, or it can be cooked in the oven as in this recipe.
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 1 small celeriac
- 200 ml olive oil
- 3 medium onions, sliced into rings
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
- 300 ml water, hot
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 bunch parsley stems
- 800 g bonito fillets, sliced
- 1 ½ lemons
- 2 green peppers, stems and seeds
- removed and finely sliced.
- Soak the potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent discoloration.
- Remove celeriac leaves. Peel the celeriac, dice and submerge in water with lemon juice and flour.
- In a saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until golden.
- Add the carrots, stir and add tomatoes. Once the juice from the tomatoes has been absorbed add the water, cover with a lid, bring it to the boil and leave to cook.
- When the carrots begin to soften, add the diced celeriac and potatoes. Then add salt, sugar and bay leaves. Tie the parsley stems together with thread and add them to the stew to enhance the flavors. Remove from the heat once all the vegetables are tender.
- Arrange half of the vegetable mixture with the broth in a baking dish or a large heat resistant glass dish.
- Arrange the fish neatly over the vegetables and then carefully add the remaining vegetables and broth on top of the fish.
- Peel one lemon, slice it thinly and arrange over the fish. Squeeze the juice of the remaining 1⁄2 lemon and drizzle over the fish.
- Arrange the green peppers on the fish. Moisten and squeeze out the water of a sheet of greaseproof paper and straighten it. Cover the food with the paper and tuck it in along each side.
- Cook for 15 minutes in a preheated 165 °C oven. Remove from the oven and discard the parsley stems. Serve hot or cold.
If you use a heat-resistant glass baking dish you can serve the stew in the same dish once cold. If you use an oven tray, transfer the stew to a serving dish and serve when cold. If desired, sprinkle grinded black pepper over the cooked fish. Other types of firm white fleshed fish can also be used.