Dentice is one of the finer Mediterranean representatives of the family Sparidae, which also includes Sea Bream on the European side of the Atlantic, and indeed Alan Davidson says one can identify most of the representatives of the family as Sea Bream, because the differences between the fish are minor, and primarily related to their teeth. On the American side of the Atlantic, many of the Sparidae are classed as porgies, which will work well as a substitute if need be. Got a small dentice? You might stretch it by using it in a risotto:
Dentice Risotto, Risotto al Dentice
To serve 4:
3/4 pound (300 g, or 1 1/2 cups) Vialone Nano or other short-grained rice
A Dentice weighing about 1 1/3 pounds (600 g), cleaned, scaled, and rinsed
A small onion, minced
A few leaves fresh sage
1 quart (1 liter) simmering vegetable broth (unsalted vegetable bullion if need be)
1 cup dry white wine, warmed
1 1/3 cups (80 g) freshly grated Parmigiano
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pat the rinsed fish dry, fillet it (instructions if need be), and flour the fillets. Chop the trimmings leftover from the filleting (don't forget the fish cheeks) and set them aside.
Melt half the butter in a skillet and add the fillets, together with several leaves of sage. Sprinkle half the wine over the fish and continue cooking, turning the fish carefully and partially covering the skillet until the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes in all. Remove the fillets to a plate and keep them warm.
In the meantime, sauté the onion in the remaining butter and the oil until it becomes golden translucent, then add the rice and fish trimmings and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about four minutes. Sprinkle in the remaining wine, and when it has evaporated start adding the simmering broth, a ladle at a time, stirring gently, until the rice reaches the al dente stage. Remove the risotto from the fire, stir half the cheese into it, and let it sit, covered, for a couple of minutes. Divvy the risotto onto warmed plates, decorate each with half of one of the filets and a leaf of sage, and serve at once, with the remaining cheese.
Dentice on About:
Synagritha sto Fourno: Greek Dentex Baked in Foil
Dentex Stuffed with Oranges - Dentice Farcito all'Arancia
Porgy Baked in Salt
How to Select Fresh Fish
How to Serve a Whole Fish at Table
Other Fish Recipes
Making Risotto and Other Recipes