Grilled Branzino with Grape-Eggplant Caponata

IngredientsFish, Grapes
Menu PartEntree
branzino with caponata

Restaurant Associates

New York City

Branzino is a Mediterranean fish that’s showing up more frequently on U.S. menus. Some restaurants grill or bake the fish whole, but the recipe-ready fillets are available from most seafood suppliers. At Restaurant Associates, the fillets are deboned but the skin is left on and the fish is quickly cooked on the grill. A zesty caponata accents the grilled branzino.


1 lb. eggplant, peeled and medium diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil

1 large red onion, brunoise (julienned and diced)

2 small red bell peppers, seeded and medium diced

2 large celery stalks, sliced thin on the bias

2 pinches red pepper flakes

1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and medium diced

3 oz. capers, drained

4 oz. red wine vinegar

2 oz. granulated sugar

1 lb. seedless red grapes, halved

Fresh basil and parsley leaves

2 lb. branzino fillets


  1. Salt the diced eggplant and allow to sit for 30 minutes in a perforated hotel pan; squeeze out excess water from eggplant.
  2. In deep, heavy-bottom saute pan over medium-high heat, heat a thin film of olive oil; add red onion and cook 3 minutes until tender. Stir in eggplant, bell pepper, celery and red pepper flakes; cook until vegetables begin to sweat. Add tomatoes; cook about 8 minutes.
  3. When the tomatoes have released their juices, add capers, vinegar, sugar and about 1 cup water. Cook 8 minutes longer.
  4. Stir in grapes; cook 10 to 12 minutes until grapes just begin to wilt. Finish with fresh parsley, basil, salt and pepper;  cool immediately.
  5.  Preheat a grill and rub with an oil-soaked cloth. Season branzino with salt and white pepper and place fish on hot grill, skin-side down. Cook 2 minutes; turn fish in the opposite direction to create proper grill marks. Once grill marks are achieved remove fillet from grill and finish flesh side down in the oven.
  6. To serve, plate fish with cooked lentil-farro pilaf and caponata.  

Photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission

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