Greekstyle Baked Fish With Tomatoes and Onions (Bourdeto)
I really enjoy seafood but often feel like I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to how to cook it. I usually do lots of lemon and herbs or curried or blackened when it comes to preparing white fish. Although all those flavor are delicious, it’s always nice to add a new one every once in a while that is just as simple and delicious. I teamed up with Pomi USA to bring you a recipe just like that using their Organic Finely Chopped Tomatoes. If you aren’t too familiar with Pomi, let me share a few things that I like about them. Pomi is synonymous with Italian quality, and tomato traceability. You can actually trace their products from the store shelf to the field where the tomatoes were grown. Their products are 100% Italian and 100% sustainable from environmental, economical, ethical and social stand points. It’s a brand I love to use in my kitchen, and I couldn’t wait to start recipe testing.
I wanted to make something light as spring is in the air and thought of a recipe or a version of a recipe my mom use to make. It’s like a fish stew that is baked and I remember it always having the most flavourful sauce. The thing is though, you are not going to get any measurements or specifics when you cook with my mom so I had to do a little research. Her version comes out differently every time too, as she adds things that she might have in the fridge or on hand like extra peppers or other veggies into the sauce.
The original dish calls for lots of onions, spices and tomatoes or tomato sauce and of course some sort of white fish. I did a little more digging and realized that this fish dish actually hails from the island of Corfu. Corfu’s cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French and British rule before it was united with Greece and so does its food. This dish is called bourdeto - the word coming from the Venetian word brodeto which means broth. There are many versions of the fish and many types of fish that you can use to make it - it’s wonderful with a whole fish as well and is even commonly made with octopus.
I decided to use halibut because I like the thickness of halibut and the texture of it is buttery and delicious and it holds up well when baked. But you can use any white fish you would like. If the pieces are smaller and thinner make sure to adjust and reduce the baking time accordingly. Larger pieces like the one I used took the full amount of time listed below to cook through.
The flavours build from caramelizing the onions and leeks and then adding the garlic, warm spices, wine, lemon juice and then the finely chopped tomatoes and paste. That all simmers away together until reduced and the onions are very tender and then the fish is nestled into the sauce and baked until done. There is some onion chopping involved so grab you onion chopping goggles, but other than that it’s a very very simple recipe full of flavour and perfect with a side of rice, pasta, potatoes or even just some crusty bread. This is the second recipe I have on the blog hailing from Corfu, I think my subconscious is telling me something pretty specific - Go to Corfu!! Maybe one day but until then I will continue to enjoy the islands lovely dishes. I have Sofrito and a nice Pasta Flora on my list to make from there too. In the meantime make sure and try this Bourdeto - and enjoy a piece of the island via it. I have partnered up with Pomi USA to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 2 lbs of boneless fish fillets or steaks, halibut or cod or any white fish that holds up well when roasted. (approx 4-6 pieces depending on size)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large lemon halved plus more for serving
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound onions, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly
- 1 leek sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly (white and light Green parts only)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (17.6 oz/500 g) bottle of Organic Finely Chopped Tomatoes
- A pinch of sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder (more if you want a little more heat)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 3 tbsp of water
- ¼ cup dry white wine (alternatively broth or water)
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about ½ cup) plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp of capers for serving (optional)
- Pat the fish dry and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lay the fish in a dish or resealable bag and squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon over it. Refrigerate for 20 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onions and leeks. Cook, stirring often, until they have softened and are starting to get golden, 10-12 minutes.
- Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic, paprika, chili powder, oregano and the bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute.
- Pour in the wine and the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two until wine has reduced
- Stir in the finely chopped tomatoes, sugar if using, and half the parsley and more salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring often, until the sauce has cooked down a bit and is very fragrant, about 10 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 375 ° F
- Remove pan from heat and place the fish onto the sauce submerging pieces into the sauce and spooning sauce over the pieces.
- Place skillet in the oven and bake until the fish is opaque and pulls apart easily with a fork, approx 25-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets basting the fish every 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven once done and serve with lemon wedges and capers and with rice, or whatever side you prefer.