2 cups julienned leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup wine
1 cup bottled clam juice or fish stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach (packed)
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh tarragon
16 ounces barramundi, cut into bite-sized pieces
For the Topping
3 tablespoons salted butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh chervil*
Extra fresh herbs for garnishing (optional)
Quintessential fall in each bite.
Taste the bounty of fall in this easy-to-prep dinner. You’ll be looking forward to this meal all day long! Meaty barramundi baked together with carrots, leeks and spinach and finished with a satisfyingly crumbly crust. Does it get better than this!?
Step 1 Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then add the carrots and leeks. Sauté until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute, then sprinkle the flour over top and stir until evenly distributed. Add the wine, clam juice or fish stock, and heavy cream, then season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Stir and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Step 2 Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed (fish stock and clam juice salinity will vary), then stir in the spinach until just wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the tarragon.
Step 3 Next, make the topping. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and panko breadcrumbs, then stir constantly until they start to turn light golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil.
Step 4 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the barramundi pieces with salt and pepper on all sides, then divide them between 4 ramekins (alternatively you could place them all in one large ramekin or baking dish). Spoon the vegetables and sauce over top, then use the back of a spoon to gently press down and spread out into an even layer. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over top, then place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
Step 5Bake for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye out to make sure the tops don’t burn. Check the center of one ramekin to make sure the fish is fully cooked through, then allow to cool down for5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs if desired.
*Chervil can be omitted if unavailable.
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