Want to put together an easy, yet elegant looking meal for Valentine’s Day? Try out this recipe for striped red mullet, a delicate white fish that is stewed with juicy red tomatoes, tangy capers and salty black olives; it’s an Italian specialty.
Striped red mullet :: triglia di scoglio is found in the Mediterranean and Black Seas as well as the eastern North Atlantic Ocean. It has been considered a delicacy since antiquity, especially among the ancient Romans. If you are not able to find striped red mullet in your local grocery store you can also substitute it with red snapper.
I have never cooked with striped red mullet and the vibrant :: vibrante red and yellowish scales enticed me to try something new. The fish monger was all too kind to supply me with a typical Italian recipe called “Triglia alla livornese.” Triglia, as you can imagine, means striped red mullet; “alla Livornese”, on the other hand, basically means Livorno style. (Livorno is a port city on the Ligurian sea.)
While the fish monger scaled the striped red mullet, he quickly told me the ingredients for this beloved dish. Unfortunately, he was extremely quick at his job and finished before I could ask him the quantities :: le dosi. Seeing a long line behind me, I didn’t want to bother him so the recipe you find below may not be true Livorno style, but dare I say the presentation is more beautiful following my recipe while the taste is equally delicious.
While doing a little research on the traditional recipe, it appears that this dish is mostly served with the whole fish (instead of fillets), topped with green olives (not black) and covered with purèed tomatoes (not whole). Feel free to try out the more traditional method, although I usually prefer eating fillets of fish since it’s much less work to eat and I liked the presentation :: presentazione with the tomato pieces as you can still see the fish underneath.
Capers :: capperi are commonly used in Mediterranean dishes as they are native to the area. In this recipe they add a nice tangy burst of flavor.
When making seafood dishes, I like to use few ingredients :: ingredienti to keep it healthier and quicker to prepare. Just like my Italian baked sardine and easy blood orange sole recipes, this dish was on the table in under 30 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe :: ricetta, and I look forward to hearing what you think!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 glove garlic
- 2 cups datterini or grape tomatoes
- 6 fillets of Striped Red mullet, deboned (or Snapper if you aren’t able to find striped red mullet)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ½ cup black olives, finely chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat then add the onions and garlic. Sautè them until they’ve softened and have turned slightly brown.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the striped red mullet fillets and cook until the meat is white and flakes away, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the capers and black olives, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Serve warm.