Fish and fennel are a classic combination, add a buttery sauce
flavoured with lemon and dill and you have a rich warming one pan meal. A salad of mixed leaves and some crusty bread on the side makes for a meal that is equally home for the family as it is for an easy entertaining option.
Fish & Fennel with Lemon & Dill Sauce
If your fennel still has the green tops on use these instead of the dill.
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice plus grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp honey
a good handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
4 firm white fish fillets – on this occasion I used terakihi
60g cold butter, chopped
1 Place lemon zest, honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, dill and a good grind of salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place fish in a shallow, non-reactive dish and pour lemon-dill mixture and set aside for 30 minutes to marinade.
2 Meanwhile, place a good splash of oil, fennel and onion in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, cover and cook, stirring
occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until fennel softens and
caramelises. Remove and set aside. Wipe pan clean.
3 Drain fish, reserving marinade. Heat clean frying pan over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil and swirl to coat base of pan. Add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until almost cooked through. Remove fish from pan, set aside and keep warm
4 Add reserved marinade to pan and with it bubbles, add
remaining lemon juice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, add butter a piece at a time and swirling pan to melt. Return fennel mixture to pan and toss to combine. Place fish on top of
fennel mixture, cover and place over a low heat for 2-3 minutes to heat through.
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Onion, lemon: Krismaw Gardens– Hastings; Fennel, dill; The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings; Honey: The Naked Honey Pot – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: butter, salt, black pepper.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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