Saturday, July 09, 2011

Lady in Waiting

While I'm waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my presumed tomatoes to ripen, I sometimes need to pump a little of that tomatoey goodness into a meal just to whet my appetite for the real flavor that is surely in my future. (It is, right?)

This dish was fortuitous convergence of a sale on cod in a nearby fish case, a half-pint of cherry tomatoes from a neighbor who was leaving on vacation (yes, I am not ashamed to say we accept donations of leftover food), a bulb of fennel and volunteer mustard greens a neighbor was cleaning out of her garden. Sounded like dinner to me!

Cod with Fennel, Cherry Tomatoes and Mustard Greens

2 Tbsp. olive oil plus additional for cooking fish
1/2 onion, cut in half and sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bulb fennel, cut in half and sliced
1/2 pint or more cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch mustard greens
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cod fillet, cut in 1 1/2" slices

Heat oil in oven-proof skillet. When it shimmers, add onions and garlic and sauté till translucent.* Add fennel and sauté till tender, then throw in cherry tomatoes and when they start to break down and release their juices, add greens and cook till wilted and tender. Remove tomato mixture to bowl and cover to keep warm.

Heat oven to 350°. Wipe out skillet and heat additional oil till very hot but not smoking. Add slices of fish and brown on one side. Flip over to other side, then add tomato mixture back into pan. Put pan in oven for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked through. To serve, spoon tomato mixture onto individual plates and top with slice of fish and a fennel frond.

* If one were so inclined, three anchovies could be added at this point and allowed to dissolve just before sautéing the fennel. Yum!

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