Fish in Crazy Water with Fennel
Get a little crazy with this fish dish’s tomato-fennel sauce!
- 1 can Italian San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces) or 1 1/2-2 pounds ripe tomatoes in season, chopped
- About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus a drizzle for the bread
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove, halved
- 1 small bulb fennel, cored and quartered, then very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 small onion, quartered and very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Sea salt and pepper
- 3 cups water
- 4 snapper fillets (6-8 ounces each)
- 4 slices peasant-style crusty bread, charred or broiled
- Place the tomatoes in a wide pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the EVOO, three turns of pan, and the garlic, fennel and onion, scattering the veggies around the pan in a thin layer. Add the crushed red pepper flakes or chili pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes; uncover and reduce by half, 10-15 minutes. Add the fish, skin-side up, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip, season the fish with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Rub the charred bread with garlic, then drizzle with EVOO and season with sea salt. To serve, place a piece bread in a bowl and top with a piece of fish and some sauce; repeat with the remaining fish and slices of bread.