Rockfish with Honey Poached Kumquats, Fennel and Olives


Golden brown fish fillets on a white plate with kumquats and kalamata olives on top

Rockfish with Honey Poached Kumquats, Fennel and Olives

Rockfish with Honey Poached Kumquats, Fennel and Olives is a recipe where savory meets sweet.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Seafood
Keyword: Black cod, Halibut, Rockfish, Sablefish, Sweet and Savory
Servings: 4


  • 1 ½ lbs Rockfish (or substitute for other firm white fish) Patted dry with paper towels.
  • 1 pint kumquats Sliced.
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Fennel Bulbs Trimmed and thin sliced.
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsps Garlic Finely chopped
  • ½ - ¾ cup Thick sliced or halved Kalamata olives, pitted and drained


  • Place the kumquats in a sauce pan over medium heat with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of honey, adding additional water to just cover the kumquats.
  • Heat just until the liquid comes to a simmer and then turn down heat to low. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes or until the kumquats have softened but not falling apart.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and strain the kumquats and set aside, reserving at least ½ cup of liquid.
  • Add the liquid back into the pot and simmer on low until it has reduced by half. The liquid should have a syrup texture. You can make the kumquats a day in advance and hold in a lidded jar in the fridge until needed.
  • In a skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the fennel. Cook the fennel until slightly tender and it starts to caramelize (about 5-8 minutes), adding a tablespoon or two of water to the pan for some steam.
  • Then stir in the parsley and garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Take the fennel off the heat and toss in the Kalamata olives and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in ½ cup of the honeyed kumquats and then transfer mixture to a platter or divide among four plates.
  • In a cast iron, fish pan or seasoned skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Season the fish with salt and pepper and when the oil is hot add the fish to the skillet.
  • When the fish is lightly browned on the bottom, flip to the other side. Most Rockfish will cook through within 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Place the cooked fish on top of the fennel, kumquat and olive mixture. Garnish with extra chopped parsley, a few more kumquats and a drizzle of the kumquat reduction. Serve immediately.
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