Heirloom Tomatoes

Agata says:

Few fish can match wild striped bass for its rich, briny-sweet flavor and succulent, beefy texture. If not available at any given time this recipe would work with wild salmon, halibut fillet or a nice thick piece of local cod.
Fregola are the pebbly, hand-rolled semolina pasta pearls from Sardinia. They are twice-dried, once in the sun and once in the oven, creating an uneven surface, nubby texture and toasty flavor. Moistened with vegetables and stock, they make a lovely bed for fleshy fish or even meaty stews.

Roast Wild Striped Bass Fillet with Fregola and Vegetable Ragout


4 wild striped bass fillets, about 6 oz. each
5 teaspoons of mixed, chopped fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and chives)
1 cup Agata & Valentina extra virgin olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
Juice of ½ lemon
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. Fregola, cooked in boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes
1 small onion, chopped
2 large, juicy heirloom tomatoes
¼ cup finely chopped fresh fennel bulb
8 oz. mixed greens (escarole, Swiss chard, spinach…) blanched quickly in boiling water, chopped fine and set aside
4 cloves roasted garlic (pour e.v. olive oil over unpeeled cloves, wrap tightly with aluminum foil and roast in oven for 40 minutes. Remove, squeeze out garlic paste and discard husks)
½ cup A & V chicken stock


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Coat fish fillets with mixed herbs and drizzle a little of the olive oil, white wine and lemon juice on top. Put fish in flat roasting pan and cook for 10-12 minutes until tender (make sure it doesn’t overcook)
In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, tomatoes and fennel first until softened, then add greens and roasted garlic. Cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes total. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Deglaze vegetables with chicken stock, then add reserved cooked fregola, leaving a little juice on the bottom.
Spoon fregola ragout on the bottom of each serving plate and place cooked fish fillet on top. Drizzle any remaining juices around and top each serving with a little chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 4