SEAFOOD EN BRODO WITH TAR­RAGON PESTO

Gourmet (South Africa) - - SLOW FOOD -

Fish bones make this rich broth, but avoid those from oily fish.

Serves 8 For the brodo

1.8kg fish bones

4 medium onions, chopped 4 fen­nel bulbs, chopped 4 small car­rots, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil, di­vided 1t saf­fron threads

2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved length­wise, thinly sliced cross­wise

4 gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced 1 cup dry ver­mouth

8 fresh flat-leaf pars­ley stems 4 strips lemon zest

2 bay leaves

2t black pep­per­corns kosher salt and freshly ground black pep­per

For the pesto

1 gar­lic clove, chopped

1 cup fresh flat-leaf

pars­ley leaves

1/2 cup fresh tar­ragon leaves 1/4 cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

As­sem­bly

1.6kg clams or cock­les, scrubbed 8 (100g) firm fish fil­lets (gurnard or kingklip)

olive oil (for driz­zling) 8 slices coun­try-style bread, toasted

For the brodo

1. Pre­heat the oven to 230°C. Di­vide the bones, onions, fen­nel, car­rots, and 1/4 cup oil be­tween two rimmed bak­ing sheets. Sea­son with salt and pep­per; toss to coat. Roast, toss­ing half­way through, un­til the veg­eta­bles are soft­ened and browned, 60 to 75 min­utes. 2. Heat the saf­fron and re­main­ing 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, stir­ring, un­til fra­grant, about 2 min­utes. Add the leeks and gar­lic. Sea­son with salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring of­ten, un­til golden, 8 to 10 min­utes. Add the ver­mouth, bring to a boil, re­duce heat and sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til slightly re­duced, about 3 min­utes. 3. Add the roasted bones and veg­eta­bles, pars­ley stems, lemon zest, bay leaves, pep­per­corns, and 10 cups wa­ter to the pot. Bring to a boil, re­duce heat and sim­mer gen­tly, skim­ming as needed, un­til re­duced by half, about 1 hour. Strain through a sieve into a clean pot and dis­card solids. Sea­son.

For the pesto

Pulse the gar­lic, pars­ley and tar­ragon in a food pro­ces­sor un­til finely chopped. With the mo­tor run­ning, slowly add oil, and process un­til smooth. Sea­son.

As­sem­bly

1. Re­turn the broth to a sim­mer; add the shell­fish, cover the pot and cook un­til the shell­fish open (dis­card any that do not open), about 5 min­utes. Trans­fer the shell­fish to a large bowl and add a ladle­ful of broth. Tent with foil. Sea­son the fish and add to the broth in pot. Cover and cook fish gen­tly un­til opaque, about 4 min­utes. 2. Di­vide the fish and shell­fish among shal­low bowls and la­dle over the broth. Driz­zle with oil, top with pesto and serve with toast.

Do ahead Brodo can be made 3 days ahead, cov­ered and chilled. Pesto can be made 1 day ahead, cov­ered with plas­tic wrap (press down on sur­face and chill).

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