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Arctic Char with Eggplant Puree
Chef Giancarla Bodoni of Escopazzo - Miami Beach, Florida
Adapted by StarChefs

Artic Char, a cousin of salmon and trout, is native to northern countries like Iceland, Norway, Canada and Sweden, as its name suggests. At the classic Italian restaurant Escopazzo in Miami, Chef Bodoni gives the northerly fish a Mediterranean treatment and sets it on a bed of silky eggplant puree.

Yield: 4 servings

    Eggplant Puree:
  • 3 large eggplants
  • 1 garlic
  • ½ jar sesame tahini
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • Salt
    Arctic Char:
  • 4 8-ounce arctic char fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, yellow and red
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups fish stock

For eggplant puree:
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place eggplant and garlic in a deep baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow the eggplant to cool. Peel away the skin of the eggplant, and place the pulp (removing as many seeds as possible) in a food processor with the garlic (squeeze the roasted garlic out), lemon juice, cayenne pepper, coriander, tahini, and season with salt. Process until smooth.

For Arctic Char:
Score the char skin. Sear char on non-stick pan with olive oil at medium heat, skin side down. Allow to cook ¾ of the way, then remove from pan and keep warm. Add garlic and tomatoes. When garlic begins to turn golden, add white wine. Once the alcohol evaporates, add fish stock. Simmer for 5 minutes, add mint and butter. Simmer until creamy.

To serve:
Place eggplant mixture in the center of the plate, fillets on top, and surround the plate with remaining sauce from pan.

Wine Pairing:
A low-tannin, high-acid red like a Barbera; try the La Spinetta 2001 Barbera d’Asti “Ca di Pian”

Published: July 2004