Crispy Fish with Celery Olive Salsa Verde and Charred Broccolini

Fish and green sauce go hand in hand, so this crispy skin sea bream with celery and olive salsa verde and charred broccolini is a perfect table centerpiece.

Recipe Notes

  • If you are new to crispy skin fish, I will outline the technique below. However, I highly recommend reading through this tutorial first. You will need a stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel pan. If you only own nonstick pans, you can try the “cold pan cold fish” method, outlined here. The cold fish cold pan method will take a bit longer, so plan accordingly. If you are trying this for the first time, I recommend making the broccoli first so that you can really focus on the fish and not worry about multi-tasking. You can always reheat the broccolini if it gets cold.
  • Look for celery WITH leaves, as you will need them in the salsa verde.


Crispy Fish with Celery Olive Salsa Verde and Charred Broccolini

Course: MainDifficulty: Moderate
Servings

2

servings

Fish and green sauce go hand in hand, so this crispy skin sea bream with celery and olive salsa verde and charred broccolini is a perfect table centerpiece.

Ingredients

  • For the celery olive salsa verde
  • 1 Celery rib, very finely minced

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery leaves (if your celery does not have enough leaves, substitute with parsley)

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated or finely minced

  • 5-6 pitted castelvetrano olives, finely chopped

  • 4-5 oil packed salted anchovies, finely chopped

  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon.

  • 5 tbsp high quality olive oil

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • For the charred broccolini
  • High heat oil, like grapeseed, avocado, or canola

  • 8 oz broccolini, ends removed and stems separated.

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the crispy skin fish
  • 2 skin on thin white fish filets, like snapper/sea bream, bass, or branzino

  • High heat oil

  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • About an hour before you plan to cook, pat your fish dry and place, skin side up, on a plate in the fridge, uncovered.
  • If you are new to crispy skin fish, I will outline the technique below. However, I highly recommend reading through this tutorial first. You will need a stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel pan. If you only own nonstick pans, you can try the “cold pan cold fish” method, outlined here. The cold fish cold pan method will take a bit longer, so plan accordingly. If you are trying this for the first time, I recommend making the broccoli first so that you can really focus on the fish and not worry about multi-tasking. You can always reheat the broccolini if it gets cold.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the chopped celery, celery leaves, parsley leaves, garlic, olives, anchovies, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Slowly add in the olive oil while whisking with a fork. Taste, and then add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue to taste and add a bit more salt until you hit the perfect balance for your preference.
  • Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough high heat oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Wait another 30 seconds or so, then add the broccoli in one layer (you may need to work in batches if your pan is not big enough). Let sit undisturbed for about 3 minutes, or until the bottom side is charred. Adjust the heat if needed if things are getting too crispy too fast.
  • While your broccoli starts cooking on that first side, start preheating your fish pan over high heat (stainless, carbon steel, or cast iron). Let it preheat for a few minutes while you continue cooking your broccoli.
  • Once the broccolini is charred on the first side, flip and continue to cook until tender, adjusting the heat as needed. Season with salt and pepper. About a minute before the broccoli is done, add the garlic and stir until it’s fragrant and lightly browned. Taste a broccolini, and adjust seasoning as needed. Remove from heat and set side until your fish finishes.
  • Around the time you flip the broccoli, add a generous amount of high heat oil to your second pan (make sure the pan is VERY hot first). Let heat for an additional 30 seconds or so. Place your filets in the pan, skin skin down, and immediately press down to flatten using a fish spatula for about 10 seconds, this keeps the skin from curling.
  • Turn the heat to medium or medium low and season the flesh side with salt and pepper. You want to hear sizzling, but you want a much lower heat than before. Cook, undisturbed. You will see the white “cooked” part of the fish start to creep up the sides. You want to wait until only the very top of the fish is still uncooked.
  • Flip the fish and cook for about a minute on the other side. You are aiming for an internal temp of 135-145. Remove from heat and transfer to plates.
  • Serve the fish and broccolini with the salsa verde. For plating purposes, don’t spoon the sauce on top of the crispy skin, instead place the fish on top of the sauce, skin side up.

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