Black Bass with Burdock and Garlic Mustard
- SERVINGS: 4
Burdock has an earthy, nutty flavor. Substitution: Salsify, or even carrots or parsnips, makes a good substitute, and any bitter greendandelion, red mustard or radicchiowill work fine in place of the garlic mustard. For the fish, black bass, red snapper, rockfish or any firm-fleshed white fillet can be used; it's best if the skin is left on.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3/4 pound burdock root, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Four 6-ounce black bass fillets
- Cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound garlic mustard greens, tough stems removed, leaves finely shredded
- In a medium nonreactive skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the burdock, shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the burdock is golden and barely tender, about 15 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons of water, 1 at a time, and cook until nearly absorbed between additions. Add the soy sauce and remove from the heat. Cover and keep warm.
- Make 3 small slashes about 2 inches long and 1/8 inch deep in the skin side of the bass fillets. Season both sides with salt and cayenne.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the bass, skin side down, and cook over high heat until opaque around the edges, about 6 minutes. Gently turn the fish and cook for 1 minute on the other side.
- While the fish is cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Swirl in 3 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the garlic mustard greens and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute.
- Spoon the burdock mixture onto 4 plates and top with a piece of fish, skin side up. Spoon the greens around the fish and serve.
Pair this dish with a big, bold and rather creamy wine with nice mineral tones to match the earthiness of the burdock and counter the salt and spice of the preparation. A Sonoma County Chardonnay will work nicely.
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