October 9, 2019

Ask A Chef: Arctic Char Confit

Recipe: Michele Mercuri

Chef Michele Mercuri of Montreal’s Le Serpent shares his recipe for Arctic Char Confit.

Chef Michele Mercuri of Montreal's Le SerpentQ:  We had a wonderful dining experience at Le Serpent in Old Montreal, and the best part was the arctic char. With a light yet succulent taste, it sat on a mélange of unusual, delicious vegetables. We were blown away! We’d love to attempt this dish at home. Can you get us the recipe? — Ibby & Joe, Montreal

A: Michele cooks the arctic char in a bath of olive oil at very low heat to give it a soft texture and rich flavor. The fish is then served on top of romesco sauce, roveja peas, marinated artichokes and salsify, and drizzled with bagna cauda. The chef has provided a simplified version of the recipe for you to try at home.


Romesco Sauce

  • 1 charred plum tomato, peeled, seeded
  • 2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded
  • 1⁄4 cup roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 small slice toasted white country bread, torn into pieces (1 cup)
  • 3⁄4 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Bagna Cauda

  • 9 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil

Arctic Char and Vegetables

  • 2 to 3 cups olive oil
  • 4 4 to 5 oz. portions of arctic char
  • Fleur de sel
  • 1 540 mL can good-quality green lentils
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, blanched and thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 fire-roasted marinated artichoke hearts, cut into pieces


Yield: Serves 4

Make Romesco Sauce

  1. In blender or food processor, combine tomato, red pepper, almonds, bread, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, and blend until homogenous. Add Parmesan and process until just combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Make Bagna Cauda

  1. In saucepan over medium heat, combine anchovies, garlic and olive oil. Cook, stirring, until anchovies are dissolved and garlic is golden. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook Arctic Char

  1. Preheat oven to 150°F. Pour olive oil into baking dish just large enough to hold fish in single layer and place in oven. Heat until oil has reached 150°F. Add fish and cook for 12 minutes, or until skin peels off evenly. Season with fleur de sel.

Assemble & Serve

  1. In saucepan, warm lentils and place in centre of each serving plate. Add dollop of romesco sauce. Divide parsnips and artichokes between plates, top with arctic char and drizzle with bagna cauda.

Dominique Lafond


House & Home October 2019