Arctic Char with Chard

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While Arctic char have a frigid reputation due to its origins, this recipe from Montreal’s Elena allows you to pair the sustainable protein with an intriguing combination of fennel and Swiss chard. 

Start this recipe by making the fennel condiment first. Warm up half of the extra virgin olive oil slowly in a pan. Add diced shallots and sweat them for 3 minutes. Stir in anchovy fillets, minced garlic, chili flakes, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the garlic becomes fragrant. 

After that, add tomato paste, salt, and diced fennel. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil and keep frying the fennel until it becomes translucent. Adjust the seasoning and set the pan aside.

Now, prepare the char and chard. Blanch the chard stems in boiling salted water until tender, then transfer them to ice water. Drain and chop the stems into sticks. Tear the chard leaves and set them aside.

Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet and season the Arctic char fillets with kosher salt. Cook the fillet’s skin side down until the skin becomes crispy and charred. 

Place the chard stems and leaves, vegetable stock, and fennel condiment back in the pan over medium heat. Cook the stems and leaves until well cooked. Stir in butter and season with lemon juice, kosher salt, and pepper.

Assemble the dish and serve with a lemon wedge. This recipe will elevate your dining experience to new heights.

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