Tomato’s unexpected coupling with puckery rhubarb blossoms into a delightful marriage of flavors here. Worlds apart from the flat tomato-based sweet-and-sour foods I loathed growing up, this Sephardi fish classic sparkles with a cool, clean tang. I add just a bit of honey, relying more on caramelized onions, bright blood oranges, and the sweet heat of fresh ginger for the subtle but complex sweetening needed to tease the ingredients together seamlessly.
I steam or poach the fish separately, rather than cooking it directly in the sauce as many recipes suggest, because the liquid it exudes makes the sauce too watery.
Favored with early spring rhubarb, Greek and Turkish Jews often serve this as a fish entree at their seders. But it is equally fine as a refreshing main course, room temperature or chilled—especially when the weather grows warm, and delicious hot as well.
Because the flavors of the sauce demand time to develop fully, this is an excellent choice for make-ahead schedules. You can prepare the sauce up to three days ahead, and cook the fish just before serving (plan on extra time for cooling/chilling the fish if you are not serving it warm). Or make the fish when you prepare the sauce, and chill it, covered with sauce, until serving.
In a deep, lidded skillet or sauté pan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer (if preparing several thin fillets, you will probably need to cook them in batches), bring
In a heavy, large, wide pot, like a
To test the fish for doneness: Insert a thin-bladed knife in the thickest part. The fish should be opaque or show a slight bit of translucence, according to your preference.
© 2000 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.