I think we all want a dish to warm us up this winter. It has been so cold and dreary these past few weeks. This dish is bright and full of the colors we all take for granted in the warm summer months. Luckily, we can still find these vegetables year round in our supermarkets. I love buying local but finding vine ripe tomatoes in February is pretty close to impossible.
Someone mentioned my Hearty Sicilian Fish Stew the other day and I knew that would hit the spot but I was not in the mood to clean several dishes. Thus, I decided to roast and bake everything in the same casserole dish. It worked perfectly. My daughter has been pretty picky lately and she cleaned her plate and even went back for more.
To make this even easier you can buy canned tomatoes to roast. I prefer to buy fresh ones since they are not stored in aluminum cans. The acidity in the tomatoes can cause the aluminum or BPA liner to leach into the tomatoes. It is more work to blanch fresh tomatoes but I feel it is worth it in the end. It really does not take that much time to do.
1) Blanch the tomatoes by cutting an X on the skin at the bottom and remove the stem at the top. Then gently drop them in boiling water. When the skins start to crack, place them in ice water and peel off the skin.
2) Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Place them in a casserole dish and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and add to the tomatoes. Chop 10 basil leaves and remove the leaves from 6 to 8 sprigs of thyme. Add the herbs to the tomatoes. Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil over the top and add several pinches of Hand Harvested Fleur de Sel sea salt. Toss and then roast for 1 hour.
3) Chop 2 or 3 zucchini, 1/2 a yellow onion and a shallot. Add all the chopped vegetables to the tomatoes and pour in about 1/4 cup of light red wine and toss again. Roast for another hour.
4) Turn up the heat to 375 degrees. Remove the casserole dish and add 1 pound of cod and squeeze one lemon over the cod. Add a pinch of Fleur de Sel and then cover the cod in the juice and vegetables. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. The cod should be flaky.
5) Serve with the vegetables on the bottom and a piece of cod on top. Make sure you get plenty of the juice. A piece of toasted whole wheat bread is highly recommended to sop up all the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and thyme.
Note: my daughter thought this would be good with capers and olives.