We've opted for mulloway to go with these simple braised white beans, but it's always best to see what's freshest at the fishmonger on the day - a firm-fleshed fish is preferable.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 baby fennel bulbs, fronds reserved
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, flesh segmented
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 800 gm canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 250 ml chicken or fish stock (1 cup)
- 4 skinless mulloway fillets (180gm each)
- 60 gm butter, diced
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1Preheat oven to 220C. Heat half the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then sauté onion and garlic until almost tender (2-3 minutes). Meanwhile, finely chop half the fennel, add to pan along with fennel seeds and lemon rind, and sauté until fennel begins to soften (1-2 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine and simmer until reduced by half (1-2 minutes). Add beans and stock, season to taste and simmer for (5-6 minutes).
- 2Meanwhile, thinly shave remaining fennel, including part of the stalk and crisp briefly in acidulated water (see note). Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fish and brown well (2-3 minutes), then turn and fry the other side for 1 minute. Transfer to an oven dish and roast until just cooked through (1-2 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, add butter to pan and cook until just nut brown (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, add lemon segments and rosemary (be careful, butter may spit), and season to taste. Serve white beans topped with roasted fish, lemon butter, drained shaved fennel and reserved fronds.
Acidulated water is a mixture of water and lemon juice that prevents discolouration.