Baked fish (or tomato) with aubergine and fava bean mash

I have written before about how much I love visiting my friend Iphigenia in Greece. My sister recently booked a holiday to Greece which made me long to go back there. As I don’t have an opportunity to travel there soon I had to content myself with cooking some Greek inspired food.  From the food I’ve had in Greece, I love the focus on unpretentious cooking that showcases the fresh ingredients to their best advantage and distinctive flavours.  This dish was inspired by several of the culinary highlights we enjoyed last year. As we stay near the sea when we go to Greece the fish is always wonderful, usually simply grilled with a little seasoning. We also loved the fava bean puree and aubergine puree that we usually had as a starter so I decided to use these as a kind of mash to serve alongside the fish.  Greek tomatoes are hard to beat so I have added a vegan alternative to the fish of baked stuffed tomatoes. I have then used popular Greek seasonings of oregano, pepper and garlic throughout the whole dish to tie everything together.

Baked fish with aubergine and fava bean mash

Cooking time: 20 minutes preparation, 10-15 minutes baking

Dietary info: dairy-free, gluten-free

Serves: 2

  • 2 haddock loin portions or sea bass fillets
  • Salad to serve, optional (see step 7)
  • Lemon juice to serve, optional

Sauce for fish

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • A pinch of sugar or sweetener
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Aubergine and fava bean mash

  • 1x400g can fava beans (replace with butter beans or haricot beans if you can’t get fava beans)
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  1. Cut the ends off the aubergine, put it on a baking tray or into an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven at 180C fan for about 15 minutes, or until it is soft but not charred.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce for the fish.
  3. Put the fish into an ovenproof dish and rub the sauce into it.
  4. Bake the fish in the oven at 160C fan for 10-15 minutes until it is opaque all the way through and flakes easily.
  5. Finely chop the aubergine then blend it with the fava beans and all the other mash ingredients to a coarse mash. This is very easy to do in a food processor but you can also do it by hand with a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor.
  6. Heat the mash through.  You can do this a variety of ways:
    1. Put it into a non-stick saucepan and heat gently, stirring until heated through; or
    2. Put it in a covered, microwave safe bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes on high power in a microwave; or
    3. Put it into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, this method will give it a nice crispy top.
  7. Serve the fish with the mash and a salad of romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber and chopped mint dressed with lemon juice. You can also serve with the baked tomatoes and tomato sauce below or replace the fish with the baked tomatoes for a vegan version.

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A few tips to prep ahead:

  • Make the sauce for the fish and keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • Make the mash and keep for up to 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge and reheat on the night.
  • If you are making the tomatoes (below) these can be prepared about 2-3 days ahead and kept, covered in the fridge and bake on the night.
  • If you are making the tomato sauce (below) this can be kept for up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge then reheat on the night.

Some tasty little twists and extras:

These baked tomatoes make a nice vegan alternative to the fish, or a good side dish, as well as this extra tomato sauce as my husband’s motto is there can never be too much sauce.

Baked stuffed tomatoes

Cooking time: 10 minutes preparation (including the mash), 15-20 minutes baking

Dietary info: vegan, gluten-free

Serves: 1-2 as a main (depending on how much bread you serve it with), 2 as a side dish

  • 2 beef tomatoes or 6 normal tomatoes
  • 1 quantity aubergine and fava bean mash (see above)
  1. Slice the top off the tomatoes and spoon out as much of the pulp as you can, leaving enough of the wall to keep its shape.  Reserve the pulp to make the tomato sauce below.
  2. Stuff the tomatoes with the mash and replace the top of the tomato like a lid.
  3. Place the stuffed tomatoes into an ovenproof dish and bake at 160C fan for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve with crusty bread and a salad as a main, or as a side dish to the fish above.

Mint and oregano tomato sauce

Cooking time: <5 minutes preparation, 5-10 minutes cooking

Dietary info: vegan, gluten-free

Serves: 1-2 as a side sauce

  • The pulp from the stuffed tomatoes (above), finely chopped.  If you aren’t making the stuffed tomatoes replace this with 1 beef tomato or 3 normal tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 50ml water
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on a medium heat, covered, until the tomato starts to break down.  You can help break up the tomato by stirring.
  2. Remove the lid of the pan and let the sauce bubble until it doesn’t taste watery but is still juicy.
  3. Serve with the baked tomatoes and/or fish above.

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