Scophthalmus rhombus, if you prefer, is a firm fleshed mini turbot. This one was caught somewhere off the South West Peninsula. Most cooks seem to fillet or roast in slices but I have gone for cooking it whole here using a reverse braising method.
Ingredients: One medium brill, gutted and trimmed. One smallish bulb of fennel, several vine ripened tomatoes, one lemon, a small bunch of chives, 100ml white or rosé wine, one tablespoonful of olive oil, ground black pepper and salt.
Method: Wash the fish and pat it dry. Add the oil and salt to a heavy cast iron pan or a deep baking tray. Turn the fish over in the oil once or twice. Tuck thin slices of fennel under the fish and into the small cavity. Pour the wine in too. Cover with oiled baking paper which you then tuck in around the fish so that it doesn’t catch fire in the oven. Or you can use a loose fitting lid.
Cook in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes. Then remove the paper and baste the brill with the juices. Add the tomatoes around the edges and some chives and thin slices of lemon scattered over the fish. Turn on the grill (or turn up the oven) and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the lemon rind is browning, the tomatoes are bursting and the brill is firm and flaking.
Serve with boiled new potatoes, mashed potatoes, mixed leaves or a green bean salad. Watch out for bones.