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Fish with a Sauce of Artichokes

Source: Cucina Ebraica - Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen
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Active Time:  40 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 20 Minutes
You would be surprised at how many different versions of this dish appear not only in the Italian Jewish cooking repertoire, but in Sephardic and Moroccan Jewish cooking as well. In the Moroccan version, ample garlic is used and the onions are seasoned with coriander, sweet paprika, and cayenne. In Greek and Turkish versions, the artichokes are made sweet and sour with lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, and a little saffron is added, too.
4 fish fillets such as salmon or sea bass, about 6 ounces each
Kosher salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
4 large or 8 medium-sized artichokes
About 8 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
2 onions, sliced
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
Fish with a Sauce of Artichokes Recipe at
Sprinkle the fish fillets with kosher salt and refrigerate until needed.

Have ready a large bowl of water to which you have added the lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove all the leaves until you reach the pale green heart. Pare away the dark green area from the base and any tender stem. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the choke from each half. Then cut each half length wise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Drop into the lemon water.

Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Drain the artichokes, reserving some of the lemon water. Add the artichoke slices to the pan and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add a little of the lemon water to cook the artichokes uncovered until almost completely tender, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.

Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to the same pan and return to medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and return the artichokes to the pan. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

In a large, wide saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the fish fillets and saute, turning once, for a minute or two on each side. Top with the artichoke mixture, cover the pan, and braise until the fish is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle generously with parsley or mint, if desired.

VARIATIONS: Put the fish in a baking dish, top with artichokes, cover the dish, and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F, until the fillets are tender, about 10 minutes. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, omit the tomatoes, add the grated zest of 1 orange and 1 large lemon to the onions while cooking, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Garnish the dish with orange segments and chopped fresh mint or parsley.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Calories: 596
Fat. Total: 38g
Fiber: 10g
Carbohydrates, Total: 27g
Sodium: 1396mg
% Cal. from Fat: 57%
Cholesterol: 94mg
Protein: 40g
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