Branzino with Walnut Puree and Frisse Salad

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 10 mins

Ingredients

For the Walnut Puree
1 cup California walnut pieces, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons more if needed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Chives
1/6 teaspoon Salt
1/12 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
For the Fish
2 -- whole branzino*, scaled, cleaned and cut in fillets (4 fillets total)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/6 teaspoon Salt
1/12 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
Frisee salad
2 heads frisee, cleaned and dried, with the green parts discarded (about 4 handfuls, or 4 oz., of prepared greens)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about half a lemon)
1/6 teaspoon salt
1/12 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the walnut puree, combine the walnuts and ¼ cup of olive oil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Process for about 1 minute, or until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  If necessary, with the machine running, add another tablespoon or two of oil; the mixture should have a sauce-like consistency, and not be too stiff.  Scrape into a bowl and stir in the chives, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  2. To prepare the fish, rub your fingers over the surface of each fillet and, using pliers or tweezers, remove any small bones you detect.  Rub the fish with the oil, and season both sides with salt and pepper.  Just before you cook the fish, place about 2 tablespoons of the walnut puree in the center of each of the 4 dinner plates.    
  3. Grill the fish 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is medium-rare. Place a fish fillet on each plate, over the walnut puree.   Alternately, the fish may be cooked on the stove top, over moderately high heat, in a skillet filmed with olive oil.  
  4. To make the salad, toss the frisee in a large bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Divide the frisse salad among the plates, placing it on top of the fish.  Serve while the fish is warm.

*Branzino is striped sea bass found in the Mediterranean.  As an alternative, use sea bass fillets, or another firm, white-fleshed fish, with bones and scales removed.   

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Ethan Stowell of Union in Seattle, WA

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