Leatherjackets in a Mediterranean Sauce
Leatherjackets are usually sold as skinned “trunks”, that is with the head removed, making them a more approachable option for people who don’t like looking at fish heads while they’re eating. Despite their mild, sweet flavour, they’re also an inexpensive fish.
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon capers in brine, rinsed, dried and chopped
¼ cup red wine
800g canned tomatoes, diced
4 medium leatherjackets, heads and skin off
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup instant couscous
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Heat half the olive oil over a medium heat, add onion, salt and pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for a further minute, then add olives and capers, cook for 2 minutes.
Add red wine, bring to the boil and cook until wine is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until a thick sauce consistency.
Trim the fins and tail off each fish using kitchen scissors, pat dry with paper towel. Pour remaining olive oil into a baking dish and arrange the fish in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spread the sauce evenly over the top of each fish. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on size, until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Meanwhile, place couscous in a large bowl, add boiling water, stir well and cover. When fish is cooked, stir excess cooking oil and juices through couscous, fluffing it up with a fork. Divide couscous between plates, place fish on top, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Gemfish, morwong, snapper, red mullet, rockcod or any of the dory species.
For information on Leatherjackets, click here >