The first thing to say about this dish is that in my humble opinion its biggest issue is one of identity.
The recipe features in the December 2020 issue of BBC Good Food Magazine in an article that invited Polish chef Damian Wawrzyniak (House of Feasts) to nominate his favourite comfort food. Damian chose Ryba po Grecku, a dish he fondly recalls being served on Christmas eve (or Wigilia in Poland).
The Greek-style moniker he attributes to the inclusion of oregano and basil, Mediterranean ingredients which were introduced to Polish cuisine in the 16th century. I loved the idea of cured haddock marinaded in a bowl of well seasoned vegetables. In some areas of Poland the dish is served warm, however, the Wawrzyniak family prefer it cold - so that's what I did.
Wawrzyniak describes old Polish cooking as time consuming. I found this recipe to be just that. The 20 minute prep time is only accurate if you are a) a super fast peeler/grater/julienner or b) have a mechanical device for doing so. Also the little bits from the grating get everywhere adding extra time to the 'clean up' job.
Advance planning is also required for the overnight curing of the fish before you start and the overnight chilling once made so we are talking a couple of days from first prep to the table.
I prepared this dish over the weekend to serve on Monday night. It came out of the fridge well chilled and smelling fragrant. However, my family were troubled by the fact that it hit the table cold. I checked in with my friend Tina, who reminded me it was the 14th December and no-one really wants a cold salad.
On-one ate dinner tonight (it's "too cold") so I put the dish back in the fridge to eat for lunch in the week. Much to my personal shame I ended up throwing the whole dish days later because I couldn't bring myself to eat it either. Another one of the few misses for us out of 283 different meals to date.