For the fish:
2 bunches cherry tomatoes on the vine, or 2 cups cherry tomatoes
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, finely diced
1 capsicum, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp harissa
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp smoked paprika
⅓ cup dry white wine
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
6 white, flaky fish fillets (125g each) such as snapper or whiting
For the tahini (makes about 2 cups):
1 cup tahini paste
2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
½ cup ice water, plus more if needed
Chopped fresh herbs, such as basil and dill, for garnish
Make the tahini according to the ingredients specified above.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and ice water. It will reach a weird, lumpy consistency, but don’t be afraid. Keep whisking until it smooths out and becomes light in colour (if it doesn’t, it needs more ice water, so just add a bit more). Tahini sauce with the perfect consistency will drip through the tines of a fork, but just barely. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice or salt if desired.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Season well with salt and roast until charred and bursting, about 15 minutes.
In a large, deep frypan, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and capsicum and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, harissa, sweet paprika, turmeric, and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and use your spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture simmer for 2 more minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and start to resemble a sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until slightly reduced, another 10 minutes.
Check the sauce for seasoning and increase the heat to a simmer. Let it reduce until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, which will make it more flavourful and help it cling to the fish.
Place the fish in the pan, making sure to spoon sauce over the fish. Cover and simmer until the fish is no longer translucent in the middle and the flesh is flaky, 6 to 8 minutes.
Serve right in the pan with the garlicky tahini drizzled over it and topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and additional olive oil.
This recipe is from Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavours for All Day, Every Day by Eden Grinshpan. Republished on The Nosher, JTA, myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/.