Saint-Pierre (John Dory) with Fennel and Confit
A popular saltwater favorite in Europe, Saint-Pierre (St. Peter’s fish, or John Dory) is a firm white fish, flaky in texture and mild in flavor. Here it is cradled in baby vegetables and garnished with basil dressing. Any similar salt water fish such as turbot could be used for this recipe.
- Basil Puree
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/3 cup
- Fresh Basil Leaves - 1 cup
- John Dory Fillets - 4, 8 ounces each
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup, for frying
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Baby Fennel Roots - 8
- Baby Green Onions - 8
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Fish Stock (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- White Wine - 1/2 cup
- Sun-dried tomatoes - 6, whole
- Basil puree - (above)
- Crustacean butter - (optional)
- *Corsican Olive Oil (may substitute any good quality extra-virgin olive oil)
To prepare the basil puree: Using a large mortar and pestle, crush basil leaves until pulverized. Add olive oil, continuing to blend. If preferrred, place basil leaves in bowl of food processor or blender and puree, scraping down the sides. With motor running, slowly add olive oil in a thin stream. Remove and place in a small bowl.
To prepare the fillets: In a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Cut each fillet into 4 pieces and saute in small batches, cooking fish for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown in color. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside to keep warm.
To prepare the vegetables: Heat olive oil in large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Place baby fennel and baby green onions in olive oil, cooking slowly, until bright in color, approx. 4-5 minutes. Add white wine, fish stock, and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue to cook, covered, over medium heat 10-15 minutes until vegetables are fork-tender. Remove from heat. (Reserve vegetable stock for garnish.)
To serve: Arrange 2 baby fennel and 2 baby green onions on each plate. Place 4 fillet pieces amongst baby fennel and baby green onions. Top with tomatoes, then surround all with a few tablespoons of vegetable stock from skillet. Garnish with very small amounts of crustacean butter and drizzle with Corsican olive oil.
* Corsican olive oil is a late-harvest olive oil from olives that are harvested only once per year from trees planted during the Roman empire 2000 years ago.