Maruja’s Fish Fillets Layered with Tomatoes, Capers, Bread Crumbs, and Cheese
If you can find the fresh anchovies that this recipe calls for (they are sometimes available here) by all means, use them. Otherwise substitute a fairly strong-tasting fish, like bass or trout. This delicious and very attractive dish comes to me by way of Elisa Tello, wife of our cousin Rafael Salgado. She got it from her brother-in-law, who got it from his mother, Maruja Cabrera, a native of Nigüela in the Alpujarra mountains of Granada. She is well known among family and friends for her fine cooking and the ease and speed with which she assembles her dishes. Indeed, this baked fish is ever so simple to put together, and it cooks in no time.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturecheesy, crunchy, herby, juicy, salty, umami, winey
Type of Dishcasserole
- ½ cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
- ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced capers
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil plus some for greasing
- 1½ pounds fresh anchovies, butterflied and boned, or 6 bass or trout fillets, skin on
- 1½ pounds large cherry tomatoes, cut into ¼-inchcrosswise slices
- 6 tablespoons dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, capers, parsley, and garlic. Generously grease with olive oil a shallow casserole dish or roasting pan.
If using fresh anchovies, arrange a layer, skin side down, in the casserole. Sprinkle with salt, scatter with some of the tomatoes, and season again with salt. Sprinkle with some of the crumb mixture and continue layering until all the fish and crumbs have been used. If using larger fish fillets, arrange half of the fish, skin side down, in the casserole. Sprinkle with salt, then cover with half of the tomatoes. Season again with salt, then sprinkle half of the crumb mixture over the fish. Cover with the remaining fillets, skin side up, then the remaining tomato and crumb mixture.
Drizzle the wine and oil over the fish and bake for 20 minutes, or until the fish is just done.
2005 Penelope Casas