FRESH FISH WITH FRAGRANT SAUCE

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Although cultivated and available in a much larger part of South Africa, I associate plum red tomatoes and the best olives with the Klein Karoo. This is not necessarily a fact, it’s simply my frame of reference. It’s the Tuscany of South Africa if you will. For me it follows logically that fresh lemon, capers, basil, garlic and white wine would also play a role here. This sauce compliments the fish, and make sure to have some good quality bread to scrape up all the extra sauce.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 6)

  • 1 fresh good sized yellow tail
  • 1 onion(chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup olives(pitted and halved)
  • 1 pack/tub sun-dried tomatoes(in oil or water, 200–300g)
  • 1 tot capers
  • 1 punnet (about 200g) baby or cocktail tomatoes
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • fresh basil leaves (optional)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Light a big fire. While you wait for the fire to form coals, chop the onion and garlic, and halve the olives to remove the pits from them. Drain and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, but keep the oil/water/sauce as you will add that to the meal later. Drain the capers, and pour yourself a drink. 
  2. When the coals are almost ready to braai the fish, start to make the sauce. 
  3. Place a fireproof pot or pan over the heat and sauté the chopped onion in the oil for a few minutes. 
  4. When the onion has colour, add the garlic, olives, baby tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes plus their sauce, and the drained capers. Regularly toss this mixture with your wooden spoon until it is well combined and starts to ‘fry’.You do not need to add any salt as the sauce will contain enough of it via the capers and olives.
  5. Add the white wine, stir and then let the sauce gently simmer, stirring now and again so that the wine can reduce by half in the time it takes you to braai the fish.
  6. When the fire is ready, season your fish generously with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice and braai over medium hot coals with the skin down. The skin will serve as a type of foil, so it can char a little bit, don’t worry. In the last few minutes, turn your fish around and braai flesh side towards the coals for a few minutes until cooked and firm.
  7. Remove the fish from the fire once ready, pour the warm sauce over the fish season with fresh lemon wedges, basil leaves and toasted bread. 
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