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Fish in Crazy Water with Fennel

Fish in Crazy Water with Fennel


  • 1 can Italian San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces) or 1 1/2-2 pounds ripe tomatoes in season, chopped

  • About 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus a drizzle for the bread

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove, halved

  • 1 small bulb fennel, cored and quartered, then very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 small onion, quartered and very thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • Sea salt and pepper

  • 3 cups water

  • 4 snapper fillets (6-8 ounces each)

  • 4 slices peasant-style crusty bread, charred or broiled


Place the tomatoes in a wide pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the EVOO, three turns of pan, and the garlic, fennel and onion, scattering the veggies around the pan in a thin layer. Add the crushed red pepper flakes or chili pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes; uncover and reduce by half, 10-15 minutes. Add the fish, skin-side up, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip, season the fish with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes more. Rub the charred bread with garlic, then drizzle with EVOO and season with sea salt. To serve, place a piece bread in a bowl and top with a piece of fish and some sauce; repeat with the remaining fish and slices of bread. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, visit