Turbanti ri Spatulidda: scabbard fish turbans with wild fennel
I love this fish called "spatulidda" in Sicilian, "pesce sciabola" in Italian, "scabbard fish" in English. I like it simply grilled, baked in a parcel with herbs or "in umido", but the recipe below with bread crumbs, cheese and herbs is one of my favourites.
We prepared this recipe in our latest cookery courses and it proved very succefful with guests too.
It is simple but requires top quality ingredients, especially good extra virgin olive oil, fresh fish and herbs and great tomatoes. It is also very versitile and can be adapted to other kinds of fish.
Turbanti ri spatulidda
6 fillets scabbard fish
400 gr bread crumbs
300 gr greated caciocavallo ragusano cheese (or parmesan)
a bunch of wild fennel (use parsley as an alternative)
6 spoons dry oregano
4 spoons chopped capers (possibly Pantelleria's capers)
6-8 ripe tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil (I used "Due Sicilie" produced by <a href="http://www.san-basilio.com/">Mastri di San Basilio</a>)
salt and pepper
6 small woden skewer
Preheat your oven to 180 C°.
Mix the bread crumbs with the greated cheese, chopped fennel and capers, oregano and then season the mixture with olive oil and pepper to taste.
Prepare the fillets sprinkling with olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread the bread crumb mixture, roll into turbans and fix with a skewer.
Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to contain the fish and arrange the rolled fillets on it. finally, quarter the tomatoes and place them onto the tray around the fish, salt them and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumb mixture.
Sprinkle everything with extra virgin olive oil and bake them for about 20 minutes and serve.