Roasted Halibut with Fennel and Croutons
- SERVINGS: 4
- 2 large fennel bulbs—halved, cored and thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons chopped feathery green tops
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 anchovy fillets, minced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup cubed (1/2 inch) crustless Italian bread
- Four 1/2-pound skinless halibut or cod fillets, about 1 inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 500°. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss the sliced fennel with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the anchovies and fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper and spread the fennel in an even layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring after 10, or until the fennel is tender and just beginning to brown.
- In a small bowl, toss the bread cubes with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Set the halibut on the fennel and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread cubes over the fish and roast for about 8 minutes longer, or until the fish is cooked through and the croutons are golden and crisp. Sprinkle with the chopped fennel tops and serve.
The fragrant, sweet-licorice character of the fennel, intensified by the high heat, suggests a full-flavored Chardonnay with toasty oak nuances.