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Pomegranate and Fennel Branzino
Giada De Laurentiis
- 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and diced (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 (3 inch) parmesan rind
- 3 strips of lemon zest
- 1 large Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon rosé or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly shaved
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 branzino filets, from 2 (1 1/4 pound) fish
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For The Puree:
For The Salad:
For The Fish:
- For the puree, in a medium saucepan combine the fennel, heavy cream, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, parmesan rind, lemon zest, potatoes, olive oil and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat. Cook until the fennel and potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove and discard the parmesan rind and the lemon zest. Add the vegetables, half of the cooking liquid and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a blender and blend, scraping down the sides as needed, until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add more liquid if the mixture is too thick. It should be light and smooth and easily spread on a plate.
- In a large bowl whisk together the Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Remove half of the dressing to a small bowl. Soak the fennel, parsley and tarragon in cold water to clean and crisp up. Drain well and spin in a salad spinner or dry well on a clean kitchen towel. Add the fennel mixture and the pomegranate seeds to the remaining dressing. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss gently to coat.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Score the skin of the branzino making 3 slashes across each filet. Dry the fish well and season evenly with the salt. Add the oil to the hot pan and heat an additional 30 seconds. Carefully add the fish to the hot pan, skin side down and press gently with the back of a spatula to make sure all of the skin is touching the pan. Cook, undisturbed until the edges of the fish start to look cooked and lightly golden and the filets release easily from the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. This can be done in batches if necessary. Using an offset spatula or fish spatula, flip each filet and cook, flesh side down, until just cooked through, about 15 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Spoon 1/2 cup of fennel puree on each of 2 plates. Using the back of a spoon, spread the puree into a circle. Place 2 fish filets on each round, slightly off center, shingling them with the skin sides out. Place a small gathering of the salad next to and slightly overlapping the filets. Drizzle with some of the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with more pomegranate seeds for garnish if desired.