JOHN DORY WITH CAPONATA
2-3 small eggplants, peeled, diced 3 tbsp (45 mL) fine salt 1 cup (250 mL) olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 12/3 cups (410 mL) canned or bottled tomatoes, or 1 can (19 ounces/540 mL) tomatoes, drained 2/3 cup (160 mL) small green olives, pitted 2 stalks celery, diced 1 cup (250 mL) chopped celery leaves 2/3 cup (160 mL) dry white wine or apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup (80 mL) granulated sugar Freshly ground pepper
4 John Dory fillets, skin on, patted dry* Salt and freshly ground pepper 6 tbsp plus 2 tsp (100 mL) grapeseed or other high-heat oil 1 lemon, halved *Substitute plaice, turbot, grouper or halibut.
Caponata: Preheat oven to 420F (215C). In a bowl, toss eggplant with salt and 2/3 cup (160 mL) of the oil. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft. Heat remaining 1/3 cup (80 mL) oil in a medium pot over medium heat and cook onions, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, until soft but not brown. Stir in tomatoes, olives, celery and leaves, wine and sugar. Lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid has reduced slightly and vegetables have softened. Stir in roasted eggplant and simmer 5 minutes more, then remove from heat. Season with pepper. (Mixture will keep for a week, refrigerated covered.)
Fish: Sprinkle fillets generously on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until it shimmers and sear fillets, skinside down, for about five minutes. Carefully turn fish and remove pan from heat; pan heat will complete fish cooking. Spoon caponata onto two heated plates and top with fish. Serve with lemon halves. Serves 2.