Before we even get into it, our number one piece of advice is to make double what you need. Honestly, this dish is so mouth-watering you will want a second helping once you've cleared the first round.
The marriage of caramelised garlic, sage and butter is perfectly accompanied by the sweet flakey flesh of a coral trout stuffed with herbs and cooked on a bed of fennel. The buttery garlic pieces and lightly grilled sourdough add a beautiful salty crunch to the softness of the fish and fennel.
Before you plan on making the recipe, caramelise the garlic by wrapping it in foil and baking it whole. We recommend doing this the night before, but realistically the garlic just needs to be cool enough to handle.
2 garlic bulbs
200g grass-fed butter
Fresh sourdough loaf
1-2 fennel bulbs
Caramelised Roasted Garlic
Peel off as much of the papery skin as you can, leaving the bulb intact. Cut the tops off the cloves. Place the garlic on a square of tinfoil large enough to wrap it in. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil, covering the top of the bulb. Wrap completely in foil, being mindful to keep it intact, and bake for approximately an hour depending on the size of the bulbs. The garlic should be slightly golden and very soft.
Garlic and Sage Sauce
Add butter and 1.5 bulbs of the caramelised garlic to a pan on low heat. Flatten the garlic cloves and stir gently as the butter slowly melts and infuses with the garlic. Once completely melted, turn the heat to medium and add a handful of sage leaves, shallots and two bay leaves. Cook until the garlic is crisp and the butter is a deep golden colour. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Pro tip: squeeze the base of the bulbs and the garlic should pop out.
Baked Fennel and Coral Trout
Prepare the fish for whole baking by removing the gills and gut. Cut the fennel into 1cm thick rings and arrange on a lined baking tray. Place the fish on the bed of fennel and season the cavity with salt and olive oil. Stuff with fennel slices, the remainder of the caramelised garlic cloves and a handful of sage. Before placing in the oven, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Bake for 20-25mins on 200°C.
Bringing it all together
Just before the coral trout is cooked, toast slices of sourdough in a pan with butter. Layer the roasted fennel and flakes of coral trout over the sourdough and top with the caramelised garlic butter sauce, being sure to evenly distribute the crispy pieces of garlic.
Serve and expect moans.
Keep any leftovers for Aglio e Olio with Coral Trout Spaghetti
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