Saturday 24 February 2018

Forkful's speedy suppers

Aoife McElwain

Words: Aoife McElwain Photos: Mark Duggan

Serves 4 Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12-15 minutes


6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon of za'atar

1 garlic clove



2 tablespoon of olive oil

4 x fillet of cod or hake

16 cherry tomatoes

Green salad, to serve

4 x slices of lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C / gas mark 6.

2. Mix the breadcrumbs and za'atar together in a large bowl. Finely grate the garlic clove and add to the breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and the olive oil, and mix well.

3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Put the fish fillets on the paper and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over each fillet.

4. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and scatter around the fish in your baking tray. Bake the whole lot in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the fish becomes opaque and flakes easily.

5. Divide the fish and cherry tomatoes between four plates. Serve with a slice of lemon and a green salad (or my pomegranate and orange salad, below) on the side.

Personally, I haven't quite mastered the art of frying fish so I tend to gravitate towards the more foolproof method of baking fish in the oven, coating my fillets with flavoured breadcrumbs.

The result is just as pleasing as fried fish and easier to pull off if you're feeding a crowd. These two speedy suppers work quite beautifully together.

Once again, I find myself looking to the Middle East for taste inspiration, hence the use of the spice blend za'atar in my fishy breadcrumbs and the presence of the jewels of a pomegranate in my salad.

this week's storecupboard essential: Za'atar


The brilliant spice blend of oregano and thyme mixed with sesame seeds and salt known as za'atar is used all over the Middle East. Find it in a Middle Eastern grocery, specialist food store or online, and try it as a topping for flatbread, sprinkled on to hummus or as a seasoning for roast lamb.

Irish Independent

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