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Dinner Tonight! | QUICK FIX

Fin 'n' Fennel

March 01, 2000|CHERYL HECHT | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

I love fennel in many forms: simmered slowly with saffron and tomatoes as the base for a lovely seafood stew; tossed with olive oil and roasted with haricots verts and potatoes; even raw, especially when paired with juicy navel oranges, as in this salsa.

Fennel-Orange Salsa is crisp, colorful and subtle. The citrus helps tame the fennel's licorice flavor, and the fennel leaves make a nice substitute for the usual cilantro. Serve it with any grilled or broiled mild, white-fleshed fish, such as halibut, red snapper or orange roughy. When you're not on a schedule, refrigerate the salsa a few hours to let the flavors meld.

A simple green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette and bread sticks or focaccia go nicely with the fish.

Grilled Halibut With Fennel-Orange Salsa

Active Work Time: 25 minutes Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 oranges

1 fennel bulb, diced (1 cup)

1 tablespoon minced fennel leaves

2 tablespoons diced red onion

1 jalapeno, minced

2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt, black pepper

4 (6-ounce) halibut filets

White pepper

Oil, for greasing

Lime wedges, for garnish

* Peel oranges and cut away all pith using sharp knife. Section oranges by cutting on either side of pithy membranes separating segments. Halve segments lengthwise, then dice. Drain oranges, reserving juice.

* Combine oranges, fennel, fennel leaves, onion, jalapeno, orange and lime juices and salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

* Season halibut with salt and white pepper. Place on well-oiled grill. Cover with pot lid to expedite cooking and help prevent fish from drying out. Grill over medium-high heat until fish is opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side (total cooking time should be about 10 minutes for every inch of thickness). Serve with fennel-orange salsa and lime wedges.

4 servings. Each serving: 286 calories; 188 mg sodium; 59 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 0.53 gram fiber.

Menu

Grilled Halibut With Fennel-Orange Salsa

Mixed Green Salad With Vinaigrette

Bread Sticks or Focaccia

Game Plan

30 minutes before: Segment and dice oranges, reserving juice; dice fennel bulb; mince fennel leaves; dice red onion; mince jalapeno; squeeze lime; combine salsa ingredients.

20 minutes before: Heat grill.

15 minutes before: Combine salsa ingredients; wash and dry salad greens; season halibut.

10 minutes before: Grill fish; warm bread sticks or focaccia, if desired; make vinaigrette.

Just before serving: Toss salad with vinaigrette. Arrange on plate with halibut, salsa and a wedge of lime.

Ingredients

Shopping List

Bread sticks or focaccia

Fennel

Halibut filets

Jalapeno

Lime

Oranges

Salad greens

Staples

Olive oil

Red onion

Vinegar

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