The idea for this elegant recipe came from a hearty Moroccan fish-and-tomato stew that’s made in the oven. Mourad Lahlou transformed the stew into a very delicate tomato jus, which he serves with pieces of crisp branzino and sautéed zucchini.
Slideshow:Great Moroccan Recipes to Try
2 pounds large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1 garlic clove
1 thyme sprig
1 mint sprig
1 parsley sprig
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, thickly sliced
Eight 3-ounce branzino fillets, pin bones removed
Lemon zest strips, for serving
How to Make It
Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Strain the juice into a medium saucepan, pressing lightly on the solids; you should have about 2 cups. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, mint, parsley and coriander seeds and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 6 minutes. Strain the jus into a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until lightly browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to plates. Wipe out the skillet.
Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and the remaining 2 tablespoons to another large nonstick skillet. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the skillets, skin side down. Using a large spatula, press the fish lightly to sear the skin for a few seconds. Cook over high heat until the skin is very crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets and cook for 1 minute longer, until the flesh flakes when pierced with a fork. Place the fish over the zucchini, skin side up, and spoon the warm tomato jus all around. Garnish with lemon zest and serve right away.
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