A Winter Dinner with The Paper Nautilus

NAUTILUS_THE PAPER NAUTILUS_Low res_Crispy skinned fish3

We are loving Kelly Gibney’s latest creation, this match is a unique and delicious combination of flavours, perfect for this time of the year.


Crispy skinned fish w/ roasted fennel & white bean puree

Serves 4

Olive and caper sauce

10 pitted Sicilian green olives

1 tablespoon capers

Large handful fresh mint leaves

Large handful fresh parsley

1/2 cup good quality olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Roasted fennel and white bean puree

2 medium fennel bulbs

3 large garlic cloves

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves

1 x 400g tin cannellini beans –drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup cream

Oil for roasting

4 x 150g pieces skin-on snapper or tarakihi

Olive oil for frying

Sea salt and cracked black pepper was desired

Place the fish uncovered on a plate (skin side up) in the fridge for an hour before you wish to cook them. This will dry the skin out and ensure a crisp result.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Trim the fennel and cut each into 6 roughly equal pieces. Place in an oven-proof dish along with the garlic, rosemary and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until tender. Add the cannellini beans to the hot roasting dish and toss through.

Use a stick blender to puree along with the remaining ingredients until silky smooth. Season to taste.

Use a blender, stick blender or small food processor to blend all of the ingredients for the olive and caper sauce until relatively smooth. Taste and season generously.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan (I like to use a cast iron skillet). Salt the skin of the fish well and carefully place skin side down in the pan. The skin will curl up when it hits the heat so use a spatula to be press down firmly for a few seconds until the skin relaxes and flattens against the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until just cooked.

To serve: divide the white bean puree between the plates. Place the fish on top gently. Drizzle the caper and green olive sauce over the puree and place steamed green beans or steamed tender stem broccoli the green beans alongside.  Top with microgreens if using. Serve immediately.

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