I picked up some really nice Savoy spinach and fennel bulbs from the Ballyroan farm stall at the Super Natural Food Market in St Andrews Resource Centre on Pearse Street on Saturday. I thought that my late arrival at 3.35pm would yield absolutely nothing but I was lucky, they had a few bags of great looking spinach left, fennel and some really good oranges. The oranges didn't last a day in our house with them being the current favourite snack of choice, but the spinach and fennel were just there waiting for me this evening. I also bought two John Dory fillets from the Donegal Seafood man at the entrance. He was doing a roaring trade as I was leaving and it is great to see. It cost me 6 euro for 2 good sized fillets and as you will see in a minute, they were delicious.
I had foregone my run in favour of a lazy bath tonight as the entire household had been woken at 5am by the three year old and quite frankly, even after the weekend doing precious little, I felt exhausted. So relaxing bath, children in bed, husband burning the midnight oil in the office, I decided to cook the fish. I now feel great!
8-10 Savoy spinach leaves or 15 of the flat-leaved variety (although I would recommend not using the flat leaved variety and perhaps opting for 4 large Savoy cabbage leaves as the texture is better with the fish and fennel), washed well and all dirt removed, finely shredded
Put a large pan of water, which will take a steamer, on to boil.
Shred all the vegetables, fennel, garlic, chilli and spinach and have them to hand.
Place the steamer over the boiling water and place the shredded fennel on the bottom of the steamer. Then carefully lay the fish fillet on top. Place the lid on and turn your attention to the spinach.
In a cold frying pan, pour in the oil and the garlic slices. Turn the heat on high and gently fry the garlic. By putting garlic into cold oil, you will impart more flavour from the garlic and will reduce the risk of burning it. After about 2 minutes when the garlic is sizzling nicely, add the chilli and then a minute or so later add the spinach. Stir fry the spinach, tossing it gently in the chilli and oil until it is just about wilting. I like to eat it like this rather than in a mush.
Place the spinach into a warmed serving plate and turn your attention to the fish. It should be cooked at this point, just flaking and translucent. Place the fennel shreds on top of the spinach and gently place the fish on top of the fennel. Serve and enjoy.
Now how will I manage to keep the banana bread for the mornings breakfast!