The Recipe: Steamed Branzino with Ratatouille and Figs
Serving Size: 6
Six four-ounce Branzino
Black Garlic Puree
1 cup Spanish onion, diced small
1 cup eggplant, diced small
1 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1 cup zucchini, diced small
1 cup yellow squash, diced small
1 cup basic tomato sauce (recipe below)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
½ tsp chopped garlic
1 ea bay leaf
Saute onion in large pan over medium high heat in a little olive oil until soft (about four minutes). Pour onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash. Allow to cool.
In a medium sized pot, heat a little oil and saute the garlic and thyme for one minute. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooled vegetables and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Basic Tomato Sauce:
1 28 oz can San Marzano Tomatoes
1 cup Spanish onion, chopped
2 tbl chopped garlic
Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add a little olive oil and saute the onion and the garlic for five minutes or until soft, but no color on the vegetables. Add the canned tomatoes and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with a little salt, pepper and a touch of sugar.
Black Garlic Puree:
1 cup peeled, fermented black garlic cloves
4 tbl hot water
2 tbl olive oil
Put the garlic and water in a blender and turn to high speed, puree for 30 seconds and slowly drizzle in the oil until completely smooth and emulsified. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
6 4 oz Branzino fillets, skin and pin bones removed
1 small bunch of thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
2 lemons, 1 cut into slices for steaming, one for zesting after the fish is cooked
6 fresh figs, cut into thin round slices
Prepare a steamer in medium sized pot. Put one inch of water in the bottom of the pot with the thyme, bay leaf and lemon slices. Bring the steamer to high heat. While the steamer is heating up season the fish with salt and pepper. Steam the fish for five minutes or until the flesh is firm but not flaky. Remove from the steamer and season with lemon zest.
Place the fillets on a serving platter and top with fig slices and the ratatouille on the side.
GT Fish & Oyster is located at 531 N. Wells St. Chicago, IL and can be reached at 312.929.3501