Slow Roasted Fish with Collapsed Cherry Tomatoes and Chili Oil

SERVES: 3-4

It’s widely accepted that tomatoes shouldn’t really be eaten fresh outside of their prime growing months (July-October, depending where you live), but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to stop eating them altogether. Slow roasting them in a bath of olive oil concentrates their flavor and sweetens them, which makes up for any out of season mediocrity. If you can find them, the ones that are sold on the vine tend to be fresher, and sweeter, and can be roasted on the vine which looks really freakin’ pretty.

Active Time: 10 Mins

Total Time: 2 hrs

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Produce

  • 2 ½  lbs cherry tomatoes (on the vine, if possible)
  • 8 garlic cloves (in their skins, unpeeled)
  • 1 lemon

Pantry

  • ⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • Store bought chili oil or chili crisp, for serving

Protein

  • 1 ½ lb piece flaky white fish (halibut, cod, etc.)

1. Slow roast the tomatoes:

  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • To a large rimmed baking sheet, add 2 ½ pounds tomatoes (leave them on the vine if they’re on them! They’re pretty that way!) and 8 garlic cloves (unpeeled!) Drizzle over ⅓ cup olive oil, and season the tomatoes well with salt and pepper. Give the baking dish a shake to coat them thoroughly. Transfer to the oven and roast for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drop the oven temp to 350.
  • Continue to cook, shaking the pan every 30 minutes or so, until the tomatoes are collapsed, shriveled and sweet, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours. The longer they go, the sweeter they get, so if you’ve got the time, leave ‘em in and keep an eye on them til you deem them delicious.

2. Add the fish:

  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on the stove top.
  • Pat a 1½ lb piece of fish dry and season all over with salt. Nestle the fish in the center of the baking dish, scooting the tomatoes to the sides. Drizzle the fish in a bit more olive oil.
  • Return to the oven and roast, until the flesh of the fish flakes away very  easily with the pressure from the tines of a fork or spoon, 20-35 minutes (depending how thick your filet is.)

3. Finish:

  • Drizzle the fish with a few spoonfuls of your chili oil of choice.
  • Finely grate the zest from about half of the lemon over the fish and tomatoes. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze its juice over everything and serve with a big spoon for flaking away big pieces of fish.

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