Baked Red Bream (red snapper)and fennel with orange and Provencal herbs
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh herbs de provence
  • 1 orange
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pernod or Ricard
  • 3 fennel, bulbs, outer leaves removed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, cut into thin strips or 2 dried bay leaves, crushed
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablesppons olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 whole red bream ( or red snapper) gutted and de-scaled... about 4 1/2 lb in total
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pare the zest from half the orange with a potato peeler and cut into short, thin strips, like pine needles. Squeeze the juice from the orange. Put all the ingredients (including the juice of the orange) except the fish, in a heavy-based pan and cook gently, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the fennel is soft.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  3. Remove any scales from the fish then wash and dry it thoroughly. Slash the fish three times diagonally on both sides cutting right down to the bone. Season generously with salt and pepper both inside and out.
  4. Place the fennel and onion mixture in the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish, place the fish on top and spoon the rest of the fennel and onion over it. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil covering the fish and bake for a further 5 minutes.
This recipe comes from Rick Stein of BBC..It is the essence of Provencal Cuisine...I like to garnish this dish with fresh sprigs of rosemary, sliced ripe tomatoes and nicoise olives after it is cooked