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Caponata-Style Escarole & Cod

Caponata-Style Escarole & Cod

Alfonso makes rustic peasant dishes like this for his staff every day at lunch so that they become familiar with the typical foods of the region.

Prep Time: 45 minutesServing Size: 6

Pairs With:



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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 pound skinless fresh cod or other firm white fish fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large head of escarole (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
  • 10 anchovies (about 3 ounces), drained and coarsely chopped
  • 10 oil-cured black olives, halved and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, well rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes - peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


The recipe can stand at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 hours before serving.

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Lightly flour the fish and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Transfer the fish to a platter.
  2. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over moderate heat until deep golden, about 2 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the escarole to the casserole along with the anchovies, olives and capers. Cook, stirring constantly, until the escarole turns bright green and wilts, about 3 minutes. Transfer the escarole to a bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the casserole. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce to the escarole and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve with the fish.