I'm not sure if you know this about me but I'm a big wine lover. I'm not a huge drinker by any stretch (probably 3 glasses a week max) but I LOVE good wine. Along with my love of great food, drinking a beautiful wine really gets my creativity going. ThE magic of a good food and wine pairing is a beautiful thing! I have such a good time writing recipes for my buddies at Nautilus Estate.
The Paper Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc has been a great wine to create with. It's elegant and fresh and just screams to be paired with some excellent food. This fish dish feels fancy enough for guests but definitely achievable to enjoy at home. The silky white bean and fennel puree is gorgeous with the crispy skinned fish. The zingy green olive and caper sauce is actually my favourite part. It brings such a brightness to the whole dish.
Crispy skinned fish w/ roasted fennel & white bean puree
Olive and caper sauce
10 pitted Sicilian green olives
1 tablespoon capers
Large handful fresh mint leaves
Large handful fresh parsley
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Roasted fennel and white bean puree
2 medium fennel bulbs
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans –drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup cream
Oil for roasting
4 x 150g pieces skin-on snapper or tarakihi
Olive oil for frying
Sea salt and cracked black pepper was desired
To serve: steamed green beans or steamed tender stem broccoli, microgreens (optional)
Place the fish uncovered on a plate (skin side up) in the fridge for an hour before you wish to cook them. This will dry the skin out and ensure a crisp result.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Trim the fennel and cut each into 6 roughly equal pieces. Place in an oven-proof dish along with the garlic, rosemary and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until tender. Add the cannellini beans to the hot roasting dish and toss through.
Use a stick blender to puree along with the remaining ingredients until silky smooth. Season to taste.
Use a blender, stick blender or small food processor to blend all of the ingredients for the olive and caper sauce until relatively smooth. Taste and season generously.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan (I like to use a cast iron skillet). Salt the skin of the fish well and carefully place skin side down in the pan. The skin will curl up when it hits the heat so use a spatula to be press down firmly for a few seconds until the skin relaxes and flattens against the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until just cooked.