Something beautiful happens when the natural juices of the tomatoes, citrus, and fish come together with the garlic and chile butter, and you’ll want some good bread on hand to capture the moment. This is the ultimate midweek summer dish, as it only takes 10 minutes to make. As ever, make sure your tomatoes are nice and ripe, it’ll make all the difference. If you can get hold of tomatillos, these are lovely in place of green tomatoes. Of course, you can also use good-quality red tomatoes, if that’s what’s more readily available.
3–4 ripe yellow tomatoes (6 oz/180g)
3–4 ripe green tomatoes or tomatillos (6 oz/180g)
¾ tsp flaky salt, plus more for serving
4 (3–4-oz/80–120g) flounder fillets (or 2 larger fillets; see notes)
fresh oregano leaves, for serving
fresh basil leaves, for serving
Chile and garlic butter
2½ tbsp (40g) unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2–3 large, mild red chiles, seeded if you like, thinly sliced into rounds (3½ tbsp/20g)
¼ tsp fine salt
2 large (or 3 medium) cloves of garlic, very finely chopped (not crushed!)
Preheat the oven to the highest broiler setting.
Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a large serving platter. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon of flaky salt and set aside while you cook the fish.
Pat the fish fillets dry and place on a baking sheet, skin side down and spaced apart. Rub the flesh side with a good drizzle of oil and a generous sprinkle of fine salt. Broil on the top rack of the oven until opaque and just cooked (you’re not looking to brown the fillets). This should take about 1 minute per ¾ ounce (20g). So, a 3-ounce (80g) fillet should take about 4 minutes, a 4-ounce (120g) fillet about 6 minutes, and so on, however this will also depend on your broiler as some are much hotter than others. You want the fish to be just cooked and no longer translucent. Use a wide spatula to carefully transfer the fish to the platter of tomatoes.
For the chile and garlic butter, put the butter and oil into a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the chiles and salt and fry for 2½ minutes, swirling the pan, until the chiles are bright red and crisp (decrease the heat if they are browning too quickly). Transfer to a small bowl to stop them from cooking, then stir in the finely chopped garlic. Let infuse for a few minutes.
Squeeze the lemon and lime halves over the fish and tomatoes, then spoon the chile and garlic butter all over. Sprinkle generously with flaky salt, top with some fresh oregano and basil and serve.
Lemon sole or smaller sea bream/sea bass fillets will also work here, but may need to cook for longer.
If you don’t like heat, skip the part where you fry the chiles, and just warm the butter and oil before adding the garlic. Add a small pinch of chile flakes if you like mild heat.
“Mezcla” Copyright © 2022 by Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Yuki Sugiura. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House.”
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