Whole flounder and herb breadcrumbs with Croatian samphire
Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook The Venetian Republic
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour
Samphire is a sea succulent that’s becoming more and more popular in the UK and Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean and along the Dalmatian coast, where it’s known as motar. It might be hard to track down, but it’s worth the effort: it adds a lovely fresh, salty element to the fish, and matches perfectly with the potatoes (make sure you get them crispy) and the fish’s herb crust.
400 g (14 oz) potatoes
200 ml (generous ¾ cup) extra virgin olive oil
5 g (¼ cup) chopped rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flounder with herb crust
60 g (1 cup) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
1 large teaspoon lemon zest
10 g (½ cup) parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) whole flounder, cleaned and scaled
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
1 lemon, cut into quarters
Croatian samphire (motar)
80g (1 cup) picked samphire (any sea succulent can be used as a substitute)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
To make the roast potatoes, finely slice the potatoes 5 mm (¼ inch) thick and toss in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the chopped rosemary and season.
In a large ovenproof baking dish, layer the potatoes, overlapping each other slightly, to cover the base of the dish. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove and cover with foil. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F).
To make the flounder with herb crust, place the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley leaves and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until the crumbs become bright green. Season with salt and pepper.
Season the flounder with salt and pepper on each side and in the internal cavity. Place the flounder on a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly and evenly cover the flounder with the herb crust.
Bake the flounder for 25–30 minutes or until the fish is just cooked. Five minutes before the fish is cooked, return the potatoes to the oven to reheat.
Meanwhile, to make the Croatian samphire, place the samphire into a pot of boiling salted water for 20 seconds, then drain and toss with the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Serve the flounder on a serving platter with the roasted potatoes, samphire and lemon quarters.
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