Recipe and photograph – Dr Joan Ransley

This colourful dish epitomises all that is healthy about the Mediterranean diet. Colourful vegetables, fish, olive oil and pulses.

It is important to include a diverse range of colourful vegetables in the diet not only because they contain vitamins and minerals but also phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds that give plants their rich colours as well as their distinctive tastes and aromas and many of them can increase the diversity of the microbes in our gut and benefit many aspects of our health.

Chickpeas are a type of pulse and an important source of fibre and a group of carbohydrates called galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). These carbohydrates promote the growth of a range of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. A healthy population of gut bacteria helps to reduce the risk of colorectal disease.

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7

Cut each red onion into 8 wedges. Slice the peppers into 10cm strips approximately 1cm wide and place in a roasting tray. Add the cherry tomatoes and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and with your hands mix together so the vegetables are coated with a thin film of oil.

Place the vegetables in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. They should be soft and just beginning to caramelise. Remove from the oven and stir through the chickpeas. Place the four pieces of cod onto of the vegetables and return to the oven. Cook for a further 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the basil oil. Place all the ingredients for the basil oil in a food processor and process for approx. 20 seconds, until smooth. Season to taste.

Remove the baking tray from the oven and drizzle with the basil oil before serving. Serve with chunks of crusty bread.

Alternative serving suggestion

Fresh salmon pieces could be used instead of cod.

Other vegetables could be used either instead of or together with peppers, for example, aubergines, courgettes and sweet potatoes.

Cook tips

  1. Cut the vegetables up into small even pieces so they cook quickly.
  2. If you are short of time use ready made fresh pesto to finish the dish.
  3. Get ahead and cook the vegetables up to 4 hours before cooking the fish. Then just warm through the vegetables in the oven, top with the fish and cook for 10-15 minutes.
 Per Serving (g)Per 100g
Calories (Kcal/KJ) 452 / 189382 / 342
Protein (g)346.1
Fat (g) 183.3
Saturated fat (g)2.30.4
Carbohydrate (g)325.8
Sugar (g)142.6
Fibre (g) 9.61.7
Sodium (mg)128.5 23.2
Salt equivalent (g) 0.32 0.06