Several readers have recently expressed interest in more fish recipes, which I think may be a sign that we want to eat more healthfully, or perhaps in a more sustainable way. Whatever the reason, I am very happy, because five nights out of six, I would choose seafood over anything else for dinner.
Lucky for us, most fish is quick-cooking and easy to prepare. The dish below takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and can be made with other fairly sturdy white fish as well, including striped bass, tilapia and catfish.
There is a pervasive misconception that wild fish is somehow better for us (and the environment) than farmed fish. This varies by species — some are more sustainably raised when farmed and others when caught in the wild. To learn which is which, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch is a reputable source. You can access it online or download the app, which is quite useful when you are shopping in the store.
Braised Red Snapper with Tomatoes, Olives and Parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 (8-ounce) red snapper fillets
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (15-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup small stuffed green olives, halved crosswise
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly softened soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the snapper with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; add it to the skillet, skin side up, and cook 2 minutes. Turn the fish and cook another 2 minutes.
2. Add the wine and cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, olives and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook, spooning some of the sauce over the snapper occasionally, until the fish is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Uncover the skillet, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the butter, stir until melted, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley over the snapper and serve.
Makes 4 servings