Red mullet with tomatoes and black olives

Serves 4

There are some nice red mullet around at the moment which can be served as fillets or whole. Red mullet have a rich and unique flavour and lend themselves to both strong and delicate accompaniments. You can serve smaller portions of mullet as a starter.

8 small or 4 large red mullet fillets weighing about 15g each
2-3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
16 black olives, stoned
3-4tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus a little extra for brushing
½tbsp good-quality white wine or cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pan of water to the boil and have a bowl of cold water ready. Make a cross on the top of the tomatoes with a knife and plunge them into the boiling water. Count to 10, then remove them with a slotted spoon into the bowl of cold water.

Remove the skins, they should just easily peel away; if not, repeat the process for about 4-5 seconds. Quarter the tomatoes and squeeze the seeds out. Chop the tomatoes into rough ½cm dice and transfer to another bowl. Cut the olives more or less the same size and mix with the tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar; season to taste.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Season the red mullet fillets and brush with a little olive oil; place them on a baking tray and bake for 6-7 minutes, until just cooked.

Spoon the tomato mixture on to serving plates and place the red mullet fillets on top.

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