700g-800g halibut or other firm white fish
2 medium red onions
1 head of garlic separated into cloves with skin on
1 large or 2 small aubergine
350g butternut squash
2 red peppers
350g waxy potatoes
2 medium carrots
150g puy lentils
400ml chicken stock
187ml white wine
The trick to this recipe is that the ingredients are presented as if all cooked in the oven at the same time, but in fact, different cooking techniques are used for separate ingredients. Using this method enables a wider range of vegetable types to be used in the final melange.
1. Roast the onions, garlic, aubergine, squash and pepper. Coarsely chop the onion, separate the garlic cloves but keep the skin on, cut the aubergine, squash and pepper into medium chunks. Toss all the ingredients into a large roasting tin and add virgin olive oil to coat the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and cook in the oven at 200C, Gas 6 for about 40 minutes. NB: Use a red onion as it give a good visual appeal when roasted and complements the aubergine. The aubergine will cook down quicker than the other ingredients, but this is deliberate as it gives a smooth and soft layer to the textures of vegetables. Garlic stays in its skin so that it does not burn or overcook and so that people can choose to eat them by squeezing out the roasted pulp. The peppers go in at the same time and will be soft an limp at the end of cooking. If you prefer a harder texture add the peppers halfway through cooking. Omit the potatoes if you prefer to serve with crusty bread.
2. Boil the potatoes, carrots and lentils. Chop the potatoes into medium chunks keeping their skins on and boil in lightly salted water until tender, drain. Peel and chop the carrots and boil in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes until just beginning to soften, then drain, reserving the cooking water. Boil the lentils in the chicken stock for about 20 minutes until cooked, drain reserving the cooking liquid and set both aside.
3. Add the carrots and herbs to the roasting tray. After 20 minutes, take the roasting tin our of the oven and using a spatula turn the vegetables over in the pan. Add the carrots and herbs. Continue to roast.
4. Saute the potatoes. Put a little oil into a non-stick pan and gently saute the potatoes until browned.
5. Grill the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes onto a baking tray and coat sparsely with light olive oil. Grill until the skin blisters, but the tomatoes are still intact.
6. Poach/steam the fish. Cut the fish into medium pieces. Using a saute pan with lid, add the wine and allow to boil for a minute, add the lentil water. NB: Add only enough liquid to create a shallow pool of poaching/steaming liquid for the fish – top up with the carrot water if necessary. Poach/steam the fish gently in the liquid with the lid on for a few minutes until just cooked through. Drain the liquid from the fish, keeping the fish warm. Reduce or make up the the liquid to about 250ml.
7. Complete the roasting. Add the potatoes, tomatoes and stock to the oven pan and continue to roast for 5 – 10 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and scatter the lentil over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon.
8. Serve. Transfer the roasted vegetables onto a serving platter or individual plates. Add the fish and garnish with fresh basil.