JOHN DORY WITH CAPONATA

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - LIFE -

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

Fish:

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.

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