The secret to the deliciousness of this dish is using basil as ‘greens’ rather than just a garnish, and to cook it until the cream caramelises and separates. Instead of fish, you can use pork and fennel sausages.
- 600g mixed potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, chopped into large chunks
- ⅔ cup polenta
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chopped
- 350g vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
- 10 brown cocktail or pickling onions, peeled
- 10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 large bunch basil
- 1 large bunch wild rocket
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 600ml pure cream
- 800g firm white fish fillets, such as gurnard or flathead
- 200g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
(on the stem)
- Crusty bread, to serve
Step by step
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan of salted cold water and bring to boil over a high heat. Simmer for 20–25 minutes or until potatoes can be pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain.
Place polenta and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub butter into polenta mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Place tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil (including stems), rocket, olive oil and potatoes in a 12-cup capacity (or larger) casserole pan or baking dish. Toss to combine, ensuring leafy greens end up on base of pan so they don’t burn in oven. Pour in cream, then tuck fish into top of pan. Place pan on a baking tray to catch any drips. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes and herbs begin to break down. Remove from oven.
Carefully push fish down into sauce so it doesn’t dry out. Sprinkle polenta mixture over fish to create a crust. Place cherry tomatoes on crust. Bake for a further 40–45 minutes or until well caramelised, polenta crust is golden and cream has split. Serve with crusty bread.