The great debate continues whether it is acceptable to have fish with cheese – Italians seem particularly anti this combination. We wouldn’t sprinkle Parmesan over spaghetti with clams or prawns but have no qualms in recommending this cheesy fish bake. You can put this together in minutes and it will keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. We served it with some sprouting broccoli and steamed baby potatoes and none of our guests took offence at the fish and cheese combo.
Gratin of fish with cheese, tomatoes and herbs – to serve 6
- 75g Guryère cheese, grated
- 75g Emmental, grated (or you can use all Gruyère if you like)
- 3 generous tsp Dijon mustard
- 4-5 tbsp single cream
- 18 cherry tomatoes
- 1½ tbsp torn basil
- 750g filleted and skinned flat-fish, like plaice or lemon sole
Spread half the cheese mixture in a gratin dish. Lay half the fish on top, then add all of the tomatoes and herbs. Add the second layer of fish, followed by the rest of the cheese. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
Cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling (as below).
Wine suggestion: Matching a wine for cheese and fish together is a little difficult which may be a reason why Italian’s are generally not in favour of this combination; but we suggest looking for a wine that has no oak, and yet good fruit and minerality. We tried a Pouilly Fumé from fruitier, fuller-flavoured producer (Henri Beourgeois) which was a good match.
(Original recipe from Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home by Rachel Allen, Collins, 2006.)