CRISPY-SKINNED SNAPPER; FENNEL, CITRUS & BLACK OLIVE SALAD

This salad takes advantage of the wonderful flavour combination of fresh fennel and sharp citrus, contrasted with the beautiful mineral saltiness of anchovies and olives. The heat from the chili helps to lift up all these delicious flavours, and the herbs we’ll be adding will bring some additional freshness. Everything comes together to become this light yet very wintery salad that pairs beautifully with a nicely sautéed piece of fish.

CRISPY-SKINNED SNAPPER w/ FENNEL, CITRUS & BLOOD ORANGE

Stephen La Rosa

The snapper in this dish could just as easily be replaced by sea bass, bream, mackerel or mahi mahi. (Basically anything where you want to eat the skin). The salad goes well with many kinds of seafood because of all the acidity, freshness and salinity so don’t hesitate to use it just because your fish doesn’t have any skin for the crisping. For an in depth guide to cooking fish with perfect skin, click here.

5 from 2 votes

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean

Servings 2 people

INGREDIENTS

  

  • 400 g Snapper, from 2 fillets
  • 1 Bulb of fennel, with fronds
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Ruby grapefruit
  • 16 Kalamata olives, no more, no less

Vinaigrette

  • 30 g Lemon juice
  • 90 g Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Anchovy fillets
  • Salt and chili flake, to taste

METHOD

 

For the Salad

  • Removing the green tops from the fennel. Reserve the fronds for garnishing and the stalks for your next batch of stockTake each wedge and by cutting on an angle, remove the core from each quarter. Slice thin strips of fennel, cutting from the root end to the stalk end. Reserve in a large mixing bowl.
  • Zest one of the oranges over the sliced fennel. Take the orange and cut a flat edge off the top and bottom of the fruit. Sit it flat on a cutting board. Remove the pith and pee. Do this by running your knife along the outside of the fruit, cutting from the top to the bottom using the curvature of the fruit just under the pith as a guide.
  • Cut into quarters through the centre and then cut those quarters into bite-sized pieces. Take care to remove the seeds. Repeat for the other orange and grapefruit. Add the citrus to the fennel.
  • Alternatively, once you’ve removed the peel, cut in between the white lines separating each citrus segment, to release small supremes of citrus. Add the citrus to the fennel. Collect any juice to use for the vinaigrette.
  • Lay each olive onto a chopping board and a few at a time, give a light smoosh with the palm of your hands. Remove the stone from the centre and using your hands or a knife, tear each olive into 2-3 small pieces. Reserve with the citrus and fennel.

For the Vinaigrette

  • Add up to 30ml (2 tablespoons) of lemon juice and 15ml (1 tablespoon) of excess orange or grapefruit juice collected from your fruit garnishes. Add this to a small jar and add 135g extra virgin olive oil.
  • Finely mince your anchovies and add them to the jar. Add half a teaspoon of chili flakes and a generous pinch of salt. Close the lid on the jar and shake to combine.

For the Fish

  • Remove your fillets from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess surface moisture.
    Perfect crispy skinned fillets
  • Place a non-stick or cast iron pan over high heat. Once hot, add 3 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil.
  •  Season your fish well on both sides with salt and lay the fillets away from you, skin side down into the centre of the pan. Optionally, lightly press down on the fish with a fish weight or a clean pan of a smaller size than the pan you’re using to cook the fish more evenly.
  • Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is 80% cooked through, if still not cooked, move the fish to an unused section of the pan and continue cooking until only the top centimeter or so of the fish is still translucent and uncooked.
  •  Flip over the fillet and continue cooking the rest of the fish for no more than 30 seconds, even less if you have a thin piece of fish.
  • Remove the fish from the pan and allow to drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper, skin side up.
  • Serve over the salad as soon as possible so the fish will still be hot and the skin crispy.

Keyword anchovy, Citrus, fennel, Fish, Olive

 

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