Hake In A Bag With Fennel Salad (Nasello in scabeccio e insalata di finocchio)

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

"The flaky flesh of hake really suits the 'cooking in the bag' method, which steams the fish without breaking it up and imbues it with the flavours of the lemon and parsley. I really like the idea of serving the fish with a hot vinaigrette of herbs and garlic - the vinegar seems to wake up everything on the plate."

"The flaky flesh of hake really suits the 'cooking in the bag' method, which steams the fish without breaking it up and imbues it with the flavours of the lemon and parsley. I really like the idea of serving the fish with a hot vinaigrette of herbs and garlic - the vinegar seems to wake up everything on the plate."

4 x 200g (7oz) hake fillets, skinned
Juice of 1/2 lemon
125ml (4fl oz) olive oil
Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
8 sage leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
4 bay leaves
75ml (3fl oz) white wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad

2 fennel bulbs, very finely sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) or gas mark 2. Place each hake fillet on a large square of foil and drizzle over the lemon juice and a little of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over a third of the parsley. Wrap the fillets in the foil to make 4 parcels, sealing the edges. Bake for 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan until very hot, then add the garlic, sage leaves, rosemary sprig, bay leaves, the remaining parsley and a pinch of salt. Slowly add the vinegar a little at a time, being careful not to let it reduce the temperature of the oil, and simmer for 2 minutes.

For the salad, toss the fennel with the olive oil, lemon juice, chives and some salt and pepper. Arrange a pile of fennel in the centre of 4 serving plates. Remove the fish from the foil parcels and place on top of the fennel. Pour over the hot oil and vinegar sauce and serve immediately.

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