Nearly any kind of mild fish can be enhanced with salmoriglio, a centuries-old sauce with uncertain beginnings that is popular in southern Italy. We also love it on potatoes, chicken, and shrimp or other shellfish.
For the Fish:
- White vinegar
- 2 pounds fish fillets, such as trout, halibut, or wild salmon, with or without skin
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Salmoriglio Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pour a little vinegar over the fish fillets, then rinse them under cold, running water. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and arrange them on an ovenproof glass or ceramic platter. Rub a little salt over the skinless sides of the fillets and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Spread half of the bread crumbs over the fillets and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; turn the fillets and repeat with the remaining bread crumbs and olive oil. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a mini food processor, combine the thyme leaves, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Pulse for 1 minute. Add the butter and process until smooth. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin, constant stream until fully incorporated. Season the sauce with salt, then pour into a sauceboat.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or light a grill. Bake the fish on a rimmed sheet pan until just cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, grill the fish, skin side down for skin-on fillets, for about 5 minutes; turn the fillets and grill just until they flake, about 4 minutes longer. (Cooking times are approximate and could vary depending on the type of fish and the thickness of the fillets.) Transfer the fish to a platter. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets and serve.
Serves 4 — Recipe from Food and Wine September 2007