Fish Recipe: Sea Bass with Fennel
Fennel is native to the shores of the Mediterranean. It is used widely in French and Italian recipes, particularly those of Sicily. The bulbous stem of Florence fennel is similar to celery in texture, but with a very different flavour. It is ideal with fish, complementing the delicate flavour. Fennel is also perfect raw in salads, adding a nutty aniseed flavour.
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 tablespoons water
- 2 x sea bass, about 1 lb (500 g) each, filleted
- Salt and pepper
- Carrot matchsticks, to garnish
- Cut the fennel bulbs lengthways into 1cm/1/2 inch slices. Pour the oil into a wok, add the fennel and water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the fennel is very tender, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid, season the fennel with salt and pepper and boil until all the water has evaporated and the fennel is golden brown. Transfer to a wanned plate and keep hot.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper, add to the wok and baste with the hot oil. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. Turn the fish over, baste again and cook for a further 5—6 minutes.
- Arrange the fennel on a warmed serving dish, place the fish on the fennel and pour the cooking juices around and over the fish and serve immedi ately, garnished with carrot matchsticks.