This baked bonito with herbs and potatoes recipe is known as palamitha sto fourno (pah-lah-MEE-thah stoh FOOR-no) or παλαμίδα στο φούρνο in Greek.
Bonito, a member of the mackerel family, is a favorite in many Greek homes. Bonito has no scales, so not only is it much easier to clean, it's great for those with allergies to fish scales.
This is a one-pot meal that requires only a vegetable and/or a leafy green salad and crusty bread for an everyday dish that can be elevated to company fare.
- 1 (3-pound) whole bonito
- Sea salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Greek oregano (rigani, to taste)
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 2 1/2 pounds potatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 lemons (juiced)
- 1 1/3 cups water
Gather the ingredients.
Heat oven to 355 F (180 C).
Remove and discard the head and intestines from the fish.
Carefully cut the fish in half lengthwise, cutting along the back and removing the bloodline.
Rinse fish briefly and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.
Insert slices of garlic into the meatiest parts of the fish.
Peel potatoes and cut into equal-sized wedge-shaped pieces.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.
Lightly spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Add fish, skin-side down, and surround it with the potatoes.
Sprinkle any remaining slices of garlic over the potatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Pour it over the fish and potatoes, and add water.
Bake at 355 F (180 C) for 1 1/2 hours. When fish flakes easily with a fork, it is done. Wait 5 minutes, remove from the pan and arrange on a platter surrounded by the potatoes.
Serve and enjoy.
More About Bonito
Bonito is a delicious dark-fleshed fish similar in taste to tuna and really doesn't need a lot of flourish—simple, light seasonings work best.
For bonito with a Mexican flair, in a small bowl, combine chipotle chilies, crushed garlic, Mexican oregano, salt, lime juice, and olive oil to form a paste. Rub it into the cleaned and dressed fish. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or two before grilling.
Meanwhile, fire up the grill, oil the grates, and cook the fish, skin-side down over direct heat for about 3 minutes. Flip the fish over and cook an extra minute so that it is still slightly pink inside for medium-rare or 3 more minutes for medium.
Grilled bonito would make a great fish taco on flour tortillas with finely shredded white cabbage, hot sauce, crema or sour cream, thinly sliced red onion, thinly sliced green onion, chopped cilantro leaves, and tomato salsa. If the skin hasn't crisped up, remove it before placing it in the tortillas.