Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Red Snapper with Tomatoes, Olives & Swiss Chard

Red Snapper is a lovely robust fish and this simple preparation using BC Wild Snapper showcases its wonderful flavour and texture. A simple tomato sauce with olives and onion sauce and some steamd swiss chard are all that's needed to make this bright and flavourful dish. A specialty of the Tuscan port of Leghorn in Livorno, this recipe reflects the ingredients of the region: fresh seafood, olives and wine. Its rich and tangy flavour is ideal for serving with fish. In keeping with with the Italian roots of this recipe, I used Taggiasche Snocciolate olives, which are very small black pitted nicoise-style olives with a distinctive, earthy taste — the pride and joy of Liguria. The region produces only a small amount of these lovely little gems, and so they're a rarity even in Liguria. I was thrilled to have found some on our last trip to Italy.

Small pitted black Ligurian olives - Olive Taggiasche Snocciolate in olio extra vergine

Liguria’s finest Taggiasche olives, noted for their small size and impressive flavour, are nestled in a warm bed of olive oil. They bring a new dimension to bruschetta, homemade pasta and pizza, and they don't have any pips inside — and definitely worth trying when cooking fish 'the ligurian way!'

Puréed Cauliflower Mash

Wild BC Red Snapper with Tomatoes & Taggiasche Olives is delicious served over a bed of steamed swiss chard and a pillow of Cauliflower mash. Low in carbs and high in nutrients, puréed or mashed cauliflower is a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes. I discovered this fabulous guilt-free recipe in the South Beach Diet Cookbook, which is my 'go-to' resource when trying to shed a few unwanted pounds. Wonderfully flavourful in it's own right, Cauliflower Mash is also great used as a silky smooth purée nestled under grilled scallops, sautéed Red Snapper or any kind of fresh seafood. Buono!

Wild BC Red Snapper with Tomatoes, Taggiasche Olives & Swiss Chard
Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
2  8-oz BC red snapper filets, skin removed
1⁄4 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, or homemade Tomato Sauce
1⁄4 cup black Taggiasche pitted olives, whole
1⁄2 bunch parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Optional sides:
Steamed Swiss Chard
Cauliflower Mash

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season with snapper with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes,  then turn the fish and cook other side another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, wine and half the parsley and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until fish is just cooked through, about 10–15 minutes, spooning the sauce over fish as it cooks. Serve the snapper on a warm plate, over a layer of Cauliflower Mash, Steamed Swiss Chard with the sauce spooned overtop. Sprinkle with remaining parsley for garnish and enjoy.

Cauliflower Mash
Serves 2

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 oz butter or Olivina
1 oz whole milk or light cream
pinch of salt and freshly ground black or white pepper

Steam the cauliflower until soft. Purée in a food processor, adding the butter and milk to taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

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