Baked anchovy-stuffed red mullet with fennel

Make the most of wonderful red mullet with this anchovy-stuffed version with fennel. There’s quite a lot of stuffing, but let it spill out into the dish

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:35 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 203
  • fat 8g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 12g
  • sugars 5g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 20g
  • salt 2.1g

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the stuffing and to drizzle
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus wedges to serve
  • 4 medium whole red mullet, about 350g each, gutted, scaled and washed
  • crusty bread, to serve
  • 50g anchovies, drained of oil and finely chopped
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove any fronds from the fennel and reserve. Trim the tips – they are coarse – quarter the bulb(s) and trim the base of each piece. Slice the fennel lengthways into slim wedges, about 5mm at the thickest part. Toss in a roasting tin or a 30cm shallow, flameproof casserole with the onion, salt and pepper, the olive oil and lemon juice. Bake for 15 mins.

  2. Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing with seasoning and a little olive oil (the mixture should be moist, but not sloppy). Season the cavities of the fish, then fill with the stuffing, pushing it up into the heads to get plenty inside. Put the fish on top of the partly baked vegetables, season, then drizzle with olive oil. Scatter over the fennel fronds.

  3. Bake for 20 mins. The flesh should be opaque near the bone at the thickest part – not at all glassy – and the vegetables tender. Serve with lemon wedges and the bread.