sautéed pollock, salsa fresca, slow-cooked fennel


This was an incredibly delicious meal which incorporated several much-too-under-appreciated foods, including pollock, lovage, fennel, fennel seeds – and fennel fronds!  Did I say that the Pollock was really, really good, and that it tasted nothing at all like fish fingers or fake crab meat?  In fact, with its somewhat crispy edges, even without skin, the taste and the textures reminded me of the freshwater perch I enjoyed so much decades ago in the Midwest;  so maybe it was the flour?

  • a one-pound pollock fillet from PE & DD Seafood, cut into four sections, dredged in seasoned flour, sautéed in olive oil over a fairly high flame, served with a salsa fresca (assembled just before the fish was begun) of chopped plum tomatoes from Phillips Farm  and halved cherry tomatoes from Keith’s Farm, minced garlic and shallot, chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm, a tiny bit of a very hot fresh pepper, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper [basic recipe from Mark Bittman’s “Fish Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking”];   the vegetable proper was a separated bulb of fennel from Norwich Meadow Farms sautéed over medium high heat with garlic, chiles, and fennel seeds in a large iron pan until the fennel began to color, then, with the heat lowered and the pan covered, cooked for ten minutes, a generous amount of chopped fennel fronds added at the end [recipe from “Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe”].
  • the wine was a Spanish white, Shaya Rueda 2012