Baked fish with fennel and potatoes

The combination of fennel and fish is nothing new. It’s a marriage that works and I don’t hesitate to throw another version in the pot. My version is an all in one supper dish. It works with bass, pollock, most of the smaller whole flat fish, mackerel – but bream is way up there on my ‘most wanted’ list!

Serves two people.

Ingredients

2 fresh fish (any of the above)
2 large, firm, fennel bulbs
4 cloves of garlic
400g new potatoes
glass of white wine
100 g butter
juice of half a lemon
olive oil
maldon sea salt
black pepper

Method

Gut and scale the fish if you caught them yourself, otherwise your fishmonger will have done this for you.

Cut back the greener sticks from the top of the fennel bulbs and remove the coarser, outer layers. Then, using a sharp knife, finely slice the fennel from top to bottom and remove and discard the dense core from the centre of the bulb.

Scrub and slice the potatoes – they should be a similar thickness to the fennel (aim for 2-3 mm)

Peel and finely slice the garlic into slivers, combine the fennel, potato and garlic in a bowl with a slug of olive oil, the salt and the pepper. Then take two sheets of tin foil (large enough to envelope the fish and the vegetables) and divide the seasoned potato and fennel – making a pile in the centre of each piece of foil.

Place the fish on top and split the butter, wine and lemon juice between each parcel before seasoning with salt and pepper.

Bring the four corners of each foil sheet together and twist to seal the parcels. Then bake on a tray in the top oven reading just shy of very hot for 30-35 mins.

Bring the parcels straight to the table and open. The fish should be moist, the fennel soft and the sauce rich.