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Whole baked fish with watercress and chilli salsa served on a plate

Whole baked fish with watercress & chilli salsa

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

Celebrate spring with a fabulous whole baked fish on a bed of new potatoes and cherry tomatoes. It comes alive with a punchy watercress and chilli salsa

  • Gluten-free
  • Healthy
Nutrition: Per serving


  • 750g new potatoes, sliced into ½cm-thick slices
  • 1 whole or 2 smaller whole sea bass (around 1.5kg), gutted, scaled and gills removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 350g cherry tomatoes on the vine, ½ halved, ½ left whole

For the salsa

  • 80g watercress
  • 25g parsley
  • 25g coriander
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Simmer the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 mins until just tender. Drain and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Slash the flesh of the fish three times in a criss-cross pattern on both sides. Rub with the olive oil, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Pop the bashed garlic cloves and lemon slices into the cavity of the fish. Lay the potatoes and all the tomatoes in the bottom of a baking dish and season. Lay the fish on top and cook for 20-25 mins, or until the thickest part of the fish is cooked through (the flesh should come away from the bone easily and look opaque). Remove the fish, cover to keep warm and cook the potatoes and tomatoes for 10 mins more.

  • STEP 3

    To make the salsa, tip the watercress, herbs, chilli and capers into a food processor and pulse to finely chop, drizzling in a bit of the extra virgin olive oil as you do. Mix in the remaining oil, then the garlic and lemon juice, and season to taste. Put the veg on a serving platter, sit the fish on top and drizzle with the salsa to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2021

Goes well with


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