Pesce in Umido

Pesce in Umido
  • courseSecondo piatto
  • difficultyEasy
  • preparation time45 minutes

In time for your next summer dinner party, Chef Barbara Lynch shared her recipe for Pesce in Umido with us. For this stewed fish dish, tender halibut is topped with briny Taggiasca olives and delicately bitter fennel. Ever since the celebrated restaurateur joined our team at Eataly Boston as chef coordinator of Il Pesce, our seafood-centric restaurant, we have loved this dish — and we guarantee that you will, too. 

Pesce in Umido (Fish with Roasted Fennel and Taggiasca Olives)
Recipe courtesy of Chef Barbara Lynch

Yield: 2 servings

2 (6-ounce) pieces of firm white fish, such as wild halibut or cod
1 fennel bulb
1 cup fish brodo
¼ cup Taggiasca olives
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons Taggiasca olive oil, for finishing

Cut the fennel in half from top to bottom, and then divide each half into quarters by also cutting top to bottom. Reserve the fronds for a garnish. In a hot sauté pan, sear the fennel pieces on both sides until they become golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the fennel from the pan, and set aside.

Season the fish with salt. In the same pan as the fennel, sear the fish on one side until it is golden brown, approximately  4-5 minutes. When the fish is nicely seared and gives up easily from the pan, use a spatula to turn it over.

Add the fennel back to the pan, along with the fish brodo and bay leaves. Cover the pan, and gently simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked entirely through.

Remove the fish, and place each piece in a shallow bowl.

With the broth still simmering, add the olives and remaining olive oil, simmer all together briefly, and taste the broth for seasoning. Adjust with salt to taste.

Spoon the fennel, olives, and broth over the fish in the bowls. Garnish with a few of the green fronds from the fennel.

Barbara Lynch

Want more delicious seafood from Barbara Lynch? Taste the chef's cuisine for yourself at Il Pesce!