Pan-Seared Char with Olives, Pistachios, and Farro

Makes 4 main course servings

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup celery, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup carrot, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch dice
1 cup fennel, tough outer leaves removed and chopped into ¼-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 anchovies, rinsed and chopped
3 cups thinly sliced kale (center rib removed)
1 cup farro (available in specialty food stores, Italian food stores and sometimes health-food stores)
4  cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chopped lemon zest
¼ cup chopped green olives
½ cup chopped curly parsley
16 ounces Atlantic char or wild salmon, skin on, cut into 4 4-ounce filets
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup chopped pistachios, optional

Heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch-oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, celery, carrots and fennel.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender and lightly browned.  Add the garlic, fennel seeds and anchovy and cook 1 minute.  Add the kale, farro, stock or water and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the farro is tender, about 35 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary.  It should be quite creamy, like a loose risotto.  Remove the bay leaves.  Stir in the lemon zest, olives, and parsley.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Season the fish with salt and pepper.  When the pan is hot, add the fish, skin side down, reduce the heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish and desired doneness.

To serve, put a spoonful of farro in the center of 4 warm plates.  Set a piece of fish on top.  Drizzle the fish with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top if desired.

Makes about 4 cups cooked farro.

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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