Warm Fennel and Grapefruit Salad with Grilled Sea Bass
Fennel is one bulb that has scarcely graced my kitchen countertop which won't be the case moving forward. After tasting this mildly sweet and crispy flowering plant on the grill I'm hooked. Not to mention all the wonderful benefits it provides. Fennel contains a combination of phytonutrients with antioxidant properties. The anethole - natural aromatic compound and flavoring substance - reduces inflammation and prevents the occurrence of cancer while dietary fibers absorb water in the digestive system and help to rid the colon of carcinogens. Fennel also contains manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus and copper. Talk about mineral load! Don't neglect the long delicate fronds as they contain a number of important vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. For this meal, I made sure to use the greens to sprinkle over the top of this dish as a garnish and an extra kick of flavor.
I paired the fennel with grapefruit, as I find that it goes well with citrus, but feel free to substitute oranges for the grapefruit if you prefer sweet over tart. Or you can adjust the tartness level by adding some agave or honey to the dressing you prepare. Now the protein - to complete this dish we'll need to add protein and fat. I chose fresh sea bass for both those properties. It's butter and never disappoints.
2 large fennel bulbs
2 large grapefruits, sliced
2 carrots, ribboned
1 lb sea bass
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
Clean and slice bulb of fennel long ways, either in half or in thirds, depending on the size. Coat with coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Rinse fish and coat with coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper. I used a citrus rub consisting of lemon peel, orange peel, granulated garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley and black pepper. Set aside and heat the grill.
For dressing, whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper. Before serving mix with olive oil.
A very special thanks to my good friend, Gem, who took all the above photos for this post. Check out her blog Raspberry Sundae.