Grouper with Okra

A traditional Cretan dish from Greece: The Cookbook
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Preparation time: 1 hr (including salting and marinating)
Cooking time: 1 hr
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lb 2 oz (500 g) fresh okra
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 grouper or other firm-fleshed white fish such as sea bass or bream, 3 1/4 lb (1.5 kg), scaled and cleaned
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cup (150 ml / 1/4 pint) olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) potatoes, thickly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup (5) finely chopped scallions (spring onions)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 1/4 lb (1 kg) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped or 14 oz (400 g) canned
chopped tomatoes
½ cup (120 ml / 4 fl oz) dry white wine

Method

Cut the stems off the okra without piercing the pods. Dip the cut ends into salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse well in water mixed with the vinegar or lemon juice.

Rinse the fish and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with half the thyme and oregano, and set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C / Gas Mark 4) and brush a roasting pan with oil. Arrange the potatoes in the middle of the pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little oil. Make 2–3 slashes on each side of the fish and place on top of the potatoes.

Combine the okra, onion, scallions, and garlic in a bowl and sprinkle the mixture around the fish, then sprinkle with the remaining thyme and oregano. Spoon the tomatoes over the fish and okra and pour in the wine and remaining oil.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30–45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10–15 minutes more, or until tender. Serve hot.

 

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Greece: The Cookbook is the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English. Rapidly increasing in popularity, Greek food is simple to prepare, healthy and delicious, and, more than most other cuisines, bears all the hallmarks of the rich cultural history of the land and sea from which it is drawn. It is the original Mediterranean cuisine, where olive oil, bread, wine, figs, grapes and cheese have been staples since the beginnings of Western civilization. With hundreds of simple recipes by Vefa Alexiadou, the authoritative grand dame of Greek cookery, the book also includes information on regional specialities, local ingredients and the religious and historical significance of the dishes, and is illustrated with 230 colour photographs. Greece: The Cookbook is the definitive work on the rich and fascinating cooking of modern Greece.