Here’s a dish that’s full of robust flavor, is really simple to prepare and only takes about 30 minutes to cook – perfect for fall.
You do have to like fennel however. It isn’t overwhelming but it definitely has a presence.
Fennel roasted with potatoes would make a great accompaniment to chicken, pork or lamb but in this case it’s topped with fish just before the end of the cooking time. The fish only takes about 10 minutes to cook through, making this a speedy and satisfying supper and the olive and tomato vinaigrette is added just before serving.
FISH ROASTED WITH FENNEL & POTATOES
1lb (500g) of small red potatoes, washed and cut into thick slices
4 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced lengthwise through the root into about 4-6 slices each
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 skinless, boneless white fish fillets such as cod, halibut, Chilean sea bass, haddock or pollack
1 level teaspoon of fennel seeds, lightly crushed
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
2 tablespoons of wine or sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
A few fresh basil leaves, chopped
About a dozen pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
Combine all the topping ingredients, season with a little sea salt and black pepper, stir well and set it aside while you preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
Toss the potatoes and fennel slices in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and arrange in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes until they’re turning golden around the edges and are almost cooked through.
Arrange the fish on top of the potatoes and fennel, season with sea salt and black pepper and scatter the crushed fennel seeds over the fish – put everything back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
To serve, divide the fish and vegetables between 4 warmed plates and immediate scatter the topping over the fish.