Baked Fish With Artichokes and Tomatoes
- Servings: 4.
Some city cooks don't like to cook fish because it can smell up our apartments. But baking it is the least aromatic fish cooking method. Plus it's a gentle way to cook white fishes like snapper or sea bass that can fall apart in a sauté pan.
Choose any firm white fish, such as red or pink snapper, sea bass, or tilapia. Sole will be too fragile, plus the tomato and artichoke will overwhelm its delicate flavor. Also avoid any of the meaty fish like salmon or tuna.
When choosing cherry tomatoes, look for the round kind, not the little sweet grape tomatoes which will be too sweet and not juicy enough for this recipe. The kind that come still on their vine are usually a good choice.
If artichokes are in season and you have the time to trim and quarter 4 large, fresh artichokes, then by all means use fresh instead of canned or frozen. But this is the kind of recipe for which there is no shame in using something that comes out of a can or the freezer. Just don't use the marinated kind as they'll be too oily.
- 12 oz. cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups)
- 1 13.5 oz. can of artichoke hearts or 9 oz. box or 12 oz. bag of completely defrosted frozen artichoke hearts; for the canned hearts, rinse carefully and then cut each heart in half; for the frozen, carefully squeeze out any excess liquid and cut each heart in half. Do not use the marinated ones packed in oil.
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (use your Microplane zester for the perfect texture for this recipe)
- 8 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole and smashed with the heel of your chef's knife
- 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed; if you're using salted capers which are usually the best, remember to soak these a bit in water and rinse several times to reduce their saltiness
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 4-oz. firm white fish filets e.g., tilapia or snapper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Using a large baking dish or small roasting pan (something about 10" x 15" and about 3" deep), place the tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic and capers in the pan. Drizzle with half of the olive oil so that everything is oiled.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take the pan out of the oven and add the fish fillets, skin side down, along side the tomatoes which by now have cooked and wrinkled a bit, throwing off some juice.
- Add the artichokes alongside the fish and tomatoes and drizzle with the remaining oil and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the fish is fully opaque, a little golden and cooked through. At this point the tomatoes will be wrinkled and their juice will be mixed with the oil and liquid that may have cooked out of the fish.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve with a green salad and a side of rice or couscous.
If you have more time or want to make this a bit fancier for company, serve with lemon risotto.