It is great to live on a latitude of 52 degrees in summer, because we get so much sunlight in the evenings. Now it’s payback time however, as the sun sets very early. When I saw fresh swordfish at the fishmonger (rather than frozen, which is usual), I decided to make this salad to bring a bit of the brightness of summer into the dark winter. The swordfish is served raw in this salad. If you don’t like that, you could briefly sear it in olive oil over very high heat and still serve it with a fennel and orange salad.
The aniseed flavor of the fennel is enhanced by some fresh tarragon. The dressing of the salad is simply the juice that leaks from the orange when you peel and slice it with some olive oil, salt, orange zest, and garlic. Very simple food that is probably most suited for summer, but nice in winter if you are longing for summer like I am.
300 grams (.66 lb) sashimi grade swordfish fillet
2 fennel bulbs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
Discard the bruised outer part of the fennel and cut off the base. Now slice it crosswise and thinly until you reach the green tops. Keep them to make vegetable stock or these delicious fennel meatballs. Put the sliced fennel in a bowl.
Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, such that you completely remove the white pith and the membranes. Do this above the bowl of fennel to catch the orange juice. (I can’t take a photo while holding the orange with the knife above the bowl.)
Now slice the orange flesh from between the membranes. This is called ‘supreme the orange’. Add the orange segments (which should be completely without white pith and membranes) to the fennel, and discard the rest.
Dice the swordfish into 1 cm (1/2″) dice, and add to the bowl together with the tarragon, garlic, orange zest, olive oil, and salt to taste. If you like you could add some freshly ground pepper as well. Toss and allow to marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Because of the citrus this is great with a crisp riesling.
One of my signature dishes is sea bass cooked sous-vide and then crisped on the skin side in very hot clarified butter. The contrast between the amazingly tender and succulent fish and the crispy skin is simply wonderful. I have already been preparing it for two years, and I will continue to do so. The beautiful photo was taken at a later date by Conor when he was visiting with the Wife, but the post is from two years ago. Since the seabass only needs 10 minutes in water of 48ºC/118ºF, this is a perfect dish for you to try if you don’t have a sous-vide cooker. You only need a pot with water and a digital thermometer, as well as ziploc bag.