This fish dish sits on eggplant (that’s been done two ways), and is crowned by fennel and orange salad. Wow. Did I come up with this recipe on my own? No; I saw it in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, but I did make a few modifications. It looks awfully fancy but really was super easy to make. Here’s how:
I cut one medium sized eggplant (the rounded, dark-skinned type) into quarters and put it in a lightly oiled roasting pan with a few cloves of garlic. I also made potato wedges from 2 medium potatoes and put them on the same roasting pan. This I roasted in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.(Remember to turn the potato wedges halfway through.)
Meanwhile. I sliced another eggplant–this time one of the long, lighter-purple types–into thin slices lengthwise and sprinkled them with lots of salt to draw the water out of them. I put them on a plate and set them aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, I took a cheese plane and drew it across a fennel bulb; I made shavings of about half of the fennel. Then I took two blood oranges (in season somewhere, apparently, as they were right there at my green grocer’s), peeled them and diced them. I stirred the fennel and oranges together and added nothing else to them, and set it aside.
I rinsed the salt from the eggplant strips, then patted them dry, tossed them in some whole wheat flour and put them in just a little bit of hot canola oil on the frying pan to saute. I turned these once and in total it took about 4 minutes, then set them aside.
When the roasting eggplant was done, I threw it hot into my food processor (without bothering to remove the skin) along with the garlic and a touch of olive oil and purreed. Then, I took 4 fish fillets and cooked them at a high temperature on the griddle, turning once, for a total of about 5 minutes.
Now comes the fun part: Assembly. I spread some eggplant-garlic puree on 4 warmed plates, and topped that with a couple of pieces of satueed eggplant. Then I added the fish fillet, and topped it off with the fennel-orange salad. I put the potato wedges on the side, and for greens I steamed some swiss chard.
This seems complicated but it’s quite simple. It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. And why not go gourmet on Meatless Mondays once in while? If you try this, let me know how it turned out!