Pan Seared Branzino with Tomatoes and Capers
Branzino is white fish popular in Italian cuisine. Also called European seabass, or loup de mer (“lew de mare” meaning “wolf of the sea”), the fish has been showing up on menus around the country and world as chefs and diners enjoy branzino’s sweet, flaky meat. It’s native to the Mediterranean Sea and imported fresh and whole to Chicago just 16 hours after catch and makes it to our case 6 hours after that as filets! Branzino is light and with a flavor not unlike sea bass or halibut, but clearly not as thick. This 5-star recipe was adapted from the Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.
- 4 skin-on Branzino Filets
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons EV olive oil
- 1 cut cherry tomatoes quartered
- 2 Tablespoons drained and rinsed capers
- ½ cut pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 3 Tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the branzino fillets on paper towels and dry well. With a sharp knife, score the skin of each fillet by making three shallow cuts on a slight diagonal. Sprinkle the fillets on all sides with the salt.
- Add the oil to the hot pan; then add the fillets, skin side down, being sure to lay the fish away from you in the pan. Press gently on each fillet to make sure the skin has full contact with the pan. Allow the fish to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes.
- Using a fish spatula, gently flip the fillets and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove the branzino to a platter, skin side up, and keep warm.
- To the hot pan, add the tomatoes, capers, and olives.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter and parsley. Spoon the sauce over the branzino and serve.