Red mullet is often paired with black olives. They bring out its rosy tint and unique delicate flavor. There are olives and sun-dried tomatoes in these mashed potatoes, and sometimes I make an olivade (see below) to dab on the fish. The red mullet that I find at the fishmonger is usually in large fillets, not the small whole fish.
Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean: Treasured Recipes from a Lifetime of Travel cookbook is available here.
Red Mullet with Provencal Mashed Potatoes
- 1 lb 10 oz (740g) baking potatoes,, peeled
- 6 tbsp (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, or a half-and-half mix of olive oil and sunflower oil
- salt and black pepper
- 16 black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 16 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, coarsely chopped
- 1 fresh red chile, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 good handful chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 large red mullet fillets, skin-on
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain, keeping about 2/3 cup (160ml) of the cooking water. Mash the potatoes and beat in the extra-virgin olive oil or olive oil and sunflower oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in just enough of the cooking water to give a soft, slightly moist mash. Then stir in the olives, tomatoes, chile (if using), and herbs and mix well.
- Warm the 2 tbsp oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the fillets, skin-side down, and cook for about 3 minutes, then turn them over and cook for 30 seconds, until cooked through.
- Serve the fish with the mashed potatoes.
Reprinted with permission from Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean: Treasured Recipes from a Lifetime of Travel by Claudia Roden, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.