Trout with Stewed Tomatoes, Fennel and Leeks

15 Mar

I went to Reading Terminal Market yesterday.  That place gets me every time.  So much food inspiration in one place.  I picked up bags of fruit and vegetables, a few sausages and some seafood.   I love having a fridge full of things to cook.   Dinner on the days I have a full fridge tend to have a little more oomph.  This is one of those meals.  Martin called it fancy and it did feel a little fancy, never mind that it was 4 pm on a Thursday or that Isabella was climbing all over us as we ate.

The dish comes together in half an hour or so.  It is a simple technique that can be used with any number of vegetables and the trout can be traded out for any kind of fish, shrimp, even chicken.   This is my favorite way to cook; one pan, a whole mess of vegetables and a little time results in a beautiful, comforting, slightly fancy meal.

Trout with Stewed Tomatoes, Fennel and Leeks

Slice one leek into thin rings, soak in bowl of cold water to remove all traces of grit.  Drain.  Slice 1/2 a bulb of fennel thinly.  Sauté both in a skillet with a little olive oil.  When the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize, add two anchovy filets and one finely minced garlic clove.  Sauté until the anchovy filet has dissolved into the vegetables.  Add one 16 oz can of diced tomatoes, some fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of capers, the zest of one lemon and 1/2 a cup of chicken stock and let simmer over medium heat until the liquid as reduced. I also added a few stray cherry tomatoes that were hanging out in the fridge.  Season with black pepper, no salt needed, the capers and anchovies have plenty. Add a handful of chopped parsley.  Taste, adjust seasoning as needed.

Season your fish with salt and pepper.  Nestle the filets in the vegetables and cover.  Cook over medium heat until the fish is just cooked through – approximately 6 minutes.  I spooned this over Monday night’s polenta and made a big salad.

Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

In a large bowl combine lettuce, thinly sliced raw fennel, the segments of a blood orange, fennel fronds, parsley leaves and sliced snap peas.  Add the juice of the blood orange, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss well.

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