Recipe: Arctic char with chard from the 'Salad Pizza Wine' cookbook

A summery and easy way to cook up Swiss chard and Arctic char

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Recipe and images provided by Penguin Random House.

Arctic char may have chilly connotations when it comes its origins, but the delicious fish is something one can enjoy all year-round.

This recipe from Montreal's Elena combines the sustainable seafood with an interesting combination of fennel and Swiss chard. The end result is a dish that looks stunning when presented in family-style format or in individual portions.

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In Elena's new cookbook Salad Pizza Wine: And Many More Good Things From Elena, you will find plenty of dynamic recipes that are sure to get you inspired in your kitchen.

Looking for a side dish for this Arctic char recipe? We've also got Elena's recipe for a kale and radicchio Caesar salad, and it's a real winner!

Fennel condiment

1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 medium shallots, diced
8 anchovy fillets
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 medim bulbs of fennel, diced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp kosher salt

In a wide, shallow pan, gently heat half of the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the diced shallots and sweat for 3 minutes.

Add the anchovies, garlic, chili flakes and pepper and continue cooking until the garlic becomes fragrant and is just beginning to change color, about 3 minutes.

Add the fennel, tomato paste and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 more minutes. Add the remaining olive oil and continue cooking on low until the fennel is translucent, 5 minutes. (The oil should turn red and separate from the rest of the mixture.)

Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Leave in the pan and set aside.

Char and chard

1 medium bunch of rainbow chard
2 arctic char fillets, cut in half
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to season
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Blanch the rainbow chard

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, separate the rainbow chard stems and leaves and prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Add the stems to the pot of boiling water and blanch them until just tender, but not soft, about 1 minute.

Using tongs, remove the stems from the water and immediately plunge them in the bowl of ice water. Drain and chop on an angle into ¾-inch sticks.

Tear the leaves in half and set aside.

Char the char

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the char fillets with 2 tbsp olive oil on both sides and season with the kosher salt.

When the cooking surface is hot, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil and allow to heat for 10 seconds.

Carefully lay the fish skin side down and cook until the skin is crispy and nicely charred, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan and, using a flexible heatproof spatula or tongs, deli- cately turn the fillets over, then remove the pan from the heat.

Cook the chard and fennel condiment

Heat the pan with the fennel condiment back up over medium heat.

Add the chard leaves, chopped stems and vegetable stock. Cook until the leaves are tender and the stems are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 2 tbsp butter and turn off the heat.

Add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt.


Transfer the fish to a serving plate and remove the skins. Spoon the fennel condiment and chard onto the plate. Sprinkle the fish with flaky sea salt, a few twists black pepper and serve with a lemon wedge.

Serves 4-6