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Catfish with Apple-Fennel Salad & Pickled Pearl Onions

Catfish with Apple-Fennel Salad & Pickled Pearl Onions

Pickled Pearl Onions

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup white pearl onions, peeled and cut in half

Apple-Fennel Salad

  • 1/2 cup diced Red Delicious apples
  • 1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup Mandarin orange sections, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 8 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds (tops of the fennel)


  • 4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



  1. To prepare the pickled pearl onions, mix water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, mustard seed, peppercorns, ginger and jalapeño pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a simmer and salt and sugar are dissolved. Cool.
  2. Heat grapeseed or canola oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until lightly caramelized. Add onions to the saucepan with the vinegar mixture. Let stand for 1 hour to pickle.
  3. Strain the onions from the pickling juice and place pickling juice in a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. To prepare the apple-fennel salad, toss diced apples, fennel bulb, orange sections and raisins in a small bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of the reduced pickling juice and 6 teaspoons of the fennel fronds and stir until combined; set aside.
  5. Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Rub catfish fillets with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Oil a grill rack or broiler pan rack. Grill or broil fillets about 4 inches from the heat source for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  6. Place a small mound of apple-fennel salad on each serving plate. Arrange pickled pearl onions on plates and top with grilled catfish. Spoon remaining 2 tablespoons pickling juice around plates and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons fennel fronds.
  7. Drizzle a little olive oil over the plates and serve.