- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon (scant) saffron threads
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
Spiced broccoli rabe
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted picholine olives* or other brine-cured green olives
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini; about 1 pound), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
Vegetables and fish
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups sliced radishes
- 6 (6-ounce) farmed striped bass fillets with skin
- All purpose flour (for dredging)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For saffron butter:
Finely grind first 5 ingredients in spice grinder. Transfer to small bowl. Add butter and tomato paste; stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.
For spiced broccoli rabe:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place garlic in small ovenproof dish. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil, cover tightly with foil, and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool; peel.
Place roasted garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, olives, capers, raisins, anchovies, and crushed red pepper in mortar. Mash with pestle until coarse puree forms. (Alternatively, process in mini processor until coarse puree forms.) DO AHEAD: Spiced puree can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to small bowl and chill.
Cook broccoli rabe in large saucepan of boiling salted water until stems are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, pressing on broccoli rabe to release excess water. Transfer to medium bowl. Add spiced puree and toss to coat. Do ahead Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
For vegetables and fish:
Bring broth to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add cauliflower, squash, and radishes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 3 minutes. Uncover, add 6 tablespoons saffron butter, and simmer until vegetables are tender and broth thickens slightly, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat. Place 3 fillets, skin side down, in each skillet and cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side.
Divide vegetables and broth among 6 shallow soup bowls. Top each with fish fillet, skin side up. Top with spiced broccoli rabe and serve.