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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Pesce in carpione (marinated white fish with caramelized onions and pine nuts)

Pesce in carpione (marinated white fish with caramelized onions and pine nuts)
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Growing up in Los Angeles as an only child of a single parent -- my mom -- I experienced holidays as a fusion of our tiny family and the huge extended family my mom constantly gathered around us. When spring ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time | Serves 6
  • 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds whitefish fillet, skin on
  • Matzo meal for dredging
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying
  • Small handful of coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 head radicchio or butter lettuce, cleaned, trimmed and separated into leaves
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts

Step 1In a medium skillet, heat one-fourth cup of the olive oil and saute the onions over low heat until very tender and nearly caramelized, about 25 minutes. Season the onions with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2Remove the pin bones from the fish using tweezers, pliers or your fingers, or ask your fish market to do it. Cut the fish fillet crosswise into pieces about 1 1/2 inches wide.

Step 3Place the matzo meal in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat about one-half inch of vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. Lightly dust the fish with the seasoned meal, add to the pan, and fry until golden. Carefully remove the fish from the skillet and arrange in a nonreactive baking pan of stainless, glass or enamel.

Step 4Arrange the onions and chopped parsley over the fish.

Step 5To make the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the remaining 1 cup of olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, shallot, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the fish, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, and up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Step 6Arrange the radicchio or butter lettuce on a serving plate. Lift the fish, topped with the onion mixture, out of the marinade and arrange on the lettuce leaves. Garnish with the pine nuts.


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