Baked gurnard and fennel purée (grondin rôti à la purée de fenouil)


- by Gabriel Gaté



Stage 5: Cagnes-sur-Mer/Marseille This dish is from the Marseille/Provence region. Capital of Provence, Marseille is famous for its seafood cuisine, which is wonderfully colourful and flavoursome. You can use other fish, like flathead, John Dory or monkfish.


80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 small bulbs of baby fennel, each cut into 4 wedges
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp pernod
80 ml (⅓ cup) dry white wine
a pinch of saffron
2 tomatoes, chopped
freshly ground pepper
350 g (12 oz) gurnard fillets
2 tbsp chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 140°C/280°F/Gas 2.

Heat half the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan or heavy-based roasting dish. Stir in the shallots and garlic, then add the fennel wedges and cook for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and thyme and stir well. Add the pernod and wine and bring to the boil. Add the saffron and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes.

Top with the fish fillets, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the fish and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the fish is almost cooked. Transfer the fish to a warm dish.

Remove the fennel wedges from the dish and blend them to a purée. Strain the tomato sauce.

Spoon a little fennel purée onto two plates. Top with a fish fillet and coat with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

SBS cook’s notes
This recipe has been reproduced with minor SBS recipe style changes. | Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20ml; 1 cup equals 250ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55–60g, unless specified.

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