Roasted Ricciola on a bed of Fennel

Ricciola, which is called Greater Amberjack in English and also known as yellowtail, is a typical fish from the Mediterranean. Unlike another one of my favorites, the Orata (Gilthead Seabream), this is a fish that cannot be farmed and so it isn’t always an easy fish to find in the markets. I found these two beautiful Ricciola at the market and even though I had never cooked them before, I figured that roasting them in the oven would be no different than roasting an orata. I bought some nice fennel, a less starching alternative to the potato, and roasted the two together with a few pachino tomatoes scattered on top.

Roasted Ricciola on a bed of Fennel

• 2 half pound ricciole, cleaned and scaled (you can use any whole fish for this dish and depending on the amount of people you will be serving, you can either bake a number of fish or one large fish for people to share).
• 3 medium-sized bulbs of fennel, cut into slivers (not rounds)
• around 10 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
• 1 cup of pachino (cherry) tomatoes
• large bunch of flat parsley
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• salt to taste

Fennel tends to take a long time to roast so you want to start with them.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Toss fennel slivers with 6 cloves of garlic in 3 tbs of olive oil and a pinch of salt. In a large roasting pan (with or without parchment paper) distribute the fennel slivers and place them on the middle rack in the oven. You want them to roast for about 20 minutes.

While the fennel is roasting, cut tomatoes into quarters then rinse the fish and pat them dry. Stuff the remaining cloves of garlic in the cavity of the fish along with the parsley leaves, add a pinch of salt and drizzle about a tsp of olive oil inside the cavity. Set aside.

After the fennel has roasted for about 20 minutes remove it from the oven, create space in the middle of the roasting pan for the fish and place the fish in the middle (you can also roast the fish on top of the fennel which almost steams the fish), drizzle oil on fish and toss the tomatoes with the fennel and place the roasting pan back in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the meat is opaque and flakey. I’ve gotten better at understanding when a fish is done, my husband says that you can tell by the opaqueness of the eyes, but they can sometimes trick you and you end up eating a dry overcooked fish.

I have to admit that just like making coffee every morning, I make my husband de-bone the fish, Neapolitans just do it better.

~ by italicious on October 17, 2008.

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