My sister, Susannah, was skilled in the kitchen long before I realized that I loved to cook. While I was traipsing around the backyard choreographing dance routines for an audience of stuffed animals, Susannah, age 10, was perfecting tomato quiche, a dish I pretended to be bored of as a matter of jealous principle. We each took our roundabout ways to get back to the kitchen and now, Susannah owns her own cafe, Bread & Circuses, in Barcelona, turning the Catalonian crowd onto the virtues of the American sandwich.
On the rare occasion that Susannah and I find ourselves in the same country and in the same kitchen, true to Taylor-family form, we spend breakfast talking about what to eat for lunch and spend lunch discussing what we’ll have for dinner. Cooking together has become part stage, and part classroom for each of us, an opportunity to show off but also to see what dishes the other has come to love. Our palettes were trained on the same food for much of our lives, but our takes are different–let’s just say I tend more towards “buckwheat” and she towards “butter”. From time to time, each of us produces a dish that could just have easily sprung from the other’s brain.
A few weeks ago Sus did just that with this incredibly simple fish dish. It combines many of my favorite flavors in a single roasting pan–lemon, olives, fennel, peppers– and it only takes about 15 minutes to cook. For those of you who are intimidated by cooking fish, which can seem complicated, this is a great way to test the waters. This time I can’t feign boredom and must give credit where credit is due. Sister fish is delicious.