Poached Codfish with green Olives, Fennel, Saffron, and Tomato Conserva

With a few pints of canned tomatoes from last summer’s harvest and a pinch of saffron, a good cook can bring the warmth of the Mediterranean to the table even on the coldest of days.

By | November 21, 2017

Ingredients

For the Tomato Conserva
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, gently smashed and left in their skins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
For the potatoes
  • 16 fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, gently smashed and left in their skins
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
For the Poaching Liquid
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks and hearts removed and bulbs thickly sliced
  • 1 quart canned, whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
For the Fish
  • 2 pounds cod or halibut
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives

Preparation

To Make the Tomato Conserva Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut fresh tomatoes into 8 wedges each. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange the tomatoes in a single layer across the bottom. Add the smashed garlic cloves and coat everything in the olive oil. Shake the pan to make sure the tomatoes are well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt. Bake until the tomatoes begin to caramelize on the bottom, about 12 minutes. Flip each tomato and return the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. Tomatoes should be sweet, sticky, and partially dehydrated.

To Make the Potatoes Fill a 2-quart saucepan with the potatoes and heavily salted water. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic cloves in their skins and the potatoes, and sauté over medium heat until the potato skins start to brown, about 15 minutes. Add half the parsley leaves and toss together, reserving the other half for garnish. Turn off the heat and let the mixture rest on the stovetop.

To Make the Poaching Liquid In a large, ovenproof stew pot, sweat the onions in the butter, olive oil, and a good pinch of salt over medium-low heat. Add the roughly chopped garlic and continue to sweat over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the fennel and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are translucent and broken down. Stir in the canned tomatoes, saffron, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the tomatoes break down and some of the liquid reduces, about 25 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for at least 15 more minutes, until the alcohol evaporates.

To Make the Fish Preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide the fish into eight equal portions. Place each piece of fish in the tomato sauce; top each with a thin lemon slice. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish is just cooked through. (The hot liquid will continue to poach the fish after it comes out of the oven.)

To serve, spread the potatoes onto a large platter. Transfer the fish to the platter with a spatula and spoon the poaching liquid over the top. Garnish with tomato conserva, Castelvetrano olives, and the remaining chopped parsley.

About this recipe

From Full Moon Suppers by Annemarie Ahearn, © 2017 by Annemarie Ahearn. Photographs by Kristin Teig. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. RoostBooks.com

Ingredients

For the Tomato Conserva
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, gently smashed and left in their skins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
For the potatoes
  • 16 fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, gently smashed and left in their skins
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
For the Poaching Liquid
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks and hearts removed and bulbs thickly sliced
  • 1 quart canned, whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
For the Fish
  • 2 pounds cod or halibut
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives
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