Poached abrótea with Fennel and Sweet Potato


(Serves 4)

600g abrótea (greater forkbeard fish) loins
sea salt, to taste
650g fennel
700g sweet potato
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
coriander seeds, to taste
1 leek
a sliver of ginger
100ml olive oil
1 lemon


Bake the sweet potato on a baking tray covered with foil for about an hour.

Place the fennel in quarters in a roasting dish. Add the julienned leek and the spices plus a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and the abrótea stock. Cover with foil and place in the oven at 180ºC for 30 minutes.

Poach the abrótea in the fennel broth. Sauté the fennel bulbs and the slices of pre-cooked sweet potato in a frying pan with a little olive oil, until nicely gold.

Add a little lemon juice to the broth used to poach the abrótea and emulsify with extra virgin olive oil – the olive oil should be added gradually in a thin trickle, as if making mayonnaise.

Serve the abrótea loin with the sweet potato and fennel. Dress with the sauce and garnish with fennel tops taken from the bulbs.

Abrótea stock
Make the stock using the heads and bones, onion, garlic and a bunch of parsley. Refresh with a little white wine and add enough water to cover the bones. Once it boils, simmer for about 20 minutes.

Chef: Bertílio Gomes
Livro: Algarve Mediterrânico

Maria Manuel Valagão, Vasco Célio, Bertílio Gomes