Slow-Roasted Char with Fennel Salad


  • ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced on a mandoline, divided

  • 1¼ pounds arctic char or salmon fillet

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemon peel

  • ½ cup dill fronds


  • Preheat oven to 300°. Bring vinegar, sugar, caraway seeds, 2 tsp. salt, and ⅓ cup water in a small saucepan to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add garlic. Let sit until garlic is slightly softened, 10–15 minutes.

  • Add half of fennel and toss to coat. Let sit until fennel softens slightly and tastes pickled, 8–10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, place char in a 2- or 3-qt. baking dish and coat with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until flesh easily flakes apart and a paring knife inserted into fish meets no resistance, 15–18 minutes.

  • Drain fennel mixture; discard liquid. Toss in a small bowl with lemon juice, preserved lemon, remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining fennel; season with salt and pepper. Mix in dill.

  • Serve char topped with fennel salad.

  • Do Ahead: Garlic and fennel can be pickled 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.