April 2021, just after the release of outdoor sports under the covid-19 regulations, saw us fishing on Grey Viking out of Brighton on the UK south coast looking for some spring plaice.
A slow day, but 5 plaice for me with the largest at 3lb.
In my opinion plaice should be cooked simply as it has a subtle sweet taste. The featured recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall brings out this sweetness while adding the caramelised cherry tomatoes.
Hugh’s recipe is for quite a large fish, but two smaller fish or fillets will do fine, just cook the cherry tomatoes for 10 minutes before adding the fish to the tray for the remaining time.
My smaller plaice were cooked in pairs and served with a side of garlic bread to mop up the juices.
Catch It and Cook It – Plaice
- Olive oil
- 1 kg plaice cleaned with skin on
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 400 g sweet cherry tomatoes
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Oil a baking sheet large enough to accommodate your plaice. Season the surface of the baking sheet and place the fish on it, pale side (underside) down. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and massage it in. Season all over with pepper and lots of salt and dot the little pieces of butter over it.
- Scatter the cherry tomatoes around the fish, along with the thyme and bay leaves. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the fish is just cooked and the tomatoes are blistered and soft.
- Once roasted, the flesh of the plaice should lift easily from the bone in neat fillets. Remove the top two fillets using a fish knife and fork. Ease the skeleton away to reveal the remaining two fillets from the underside. Serve the fish with the tomatoes and all the buttery, salty-sweet roasting juices.
Please observe minimum size limits when fishing.