You can't get any fresher than this. The dirt from my garden is still clumped to the fennel roots. The aniseed perfume is so much stronger than any supermarket bulb, left wilting on the shelves for who knows how long. The crunch as the knife slices through the crisp layers is almost deafening. The pleasure of eating something grown from scratch, and with a little love, is immeasurable.
Fish was on the menu last night and fennel and fish are a marriage made in heaven. This is yet another Moroccan inspired recipe which I adapted from my latest cookbook purchase, Moroccan Modern by Hassan M'Souli, a restaurateur from Sydney. I know I'm going to get my money's worth from this book, the recipes are just fabulous.
This dish is abundant with coriander and parsley. The tomato chermoula is so versatile in it's uses, as a marinade, or even as a sauce for pasta marinara, I think I will always make double the recipe from now on.
Pam, who cooks, sews and knits in her "spare time" from Sidewalk Shoes is kindly hosting Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging this week.
- 4 x 2 inch thick firm fish fillets (try swordfish, dhufish, Ling or cod fillets)
- 2 cups of tomato chermoula (see recipe below)
- 1 large fennel bulb (the original recipe used celery sliced lengthways)
- 1 carrot
- 2 potatoes
- 1 small red capsicum
- 1 small green capsicum
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 2 cups of fish stock
- A handful of kalamata olives
- 1 preserved lemon cut into wedges
- 4 roma tomatoes halved and roasted
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
Marinate your fish fillets in the tomato chermoula for at least two hours.
Slice the fennel (or celery) and place slices parallel across the tagine base. This stops food from sticking and burning to the bottom.
Next place the fish fillets over the fennel. Next slice the carrot diagonally in 1cm slices. Peel and slice the potatoes in the same fashion. Deseed and remove membranes from capsicums and slice the flesh to be double the thickness of the potatoes. The slices need to be varied accordingly so that they all cook in time.
Alternate the carrot & potato slices around the outer edge of the tagine and on top of the fish. Place the capsicums in alternating colours on top of the whole dish.
Mix the tomato chermoula with the tomato paste and fish stock and whisk until well combined. Pour over the vegetables and the fish, and top with olives and preserved lemon wedges.
Cover with tagine lid and simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.
Tomato Chermoula is a great accompaniment for seafood dishes.
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 brown onions diced
- 4 x 400g cans of crushed tomatoes
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt & pepper
Gently heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and lemon juice. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the fresh herbs and remove from heat. Season to taste. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.