Baked Red Bream with Fennel, Orange & Provencal Herbs



1 orange
3 fennel bulbs
1 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence or 1 tablepsoon chopped mixed thyme, rosemary and oregano
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fennel herb
2 tablespoons of Pernod
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves, finely shredded
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
85 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
4 x 550 g (1 ¼ lb) red sea bream, trimmed and scaled (see page 14)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pare the zest from half the orange with a potato peeler, then finely cut each strip across into fine shreds like pine needles. Squeeze the juice from the whole orange. Remove the outer leaves from the fennel bulbs and chop the remainder.

Put the herbs, orange zest and juice, chopped fennel, fennel herb, Pernod, onion, bay leaves, garlic, white wine vinegar, olive oil and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the fennel is soft.

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6. Spoon half of the fennel mixture into the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish. Put the fish on top, then spoon over the rest of the fennel mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes. Drizzle with a little extra oil before serving.

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