Broiled Fish with Rustic Mediterranean Tomato, Onion & Caper Sauce

This smoky rustic tomato sauce is one of my FAVORITE easy fish dinner recipes. The Mediterranean ingredients of tomato, capers, garlic, onion, sherry, herbs, and chorizo come together quickly on the stovetop, then can be served over a variety of firm white fishes. I usually serve this with perch, red snapper, or halibut, but choose your favorite! (If you prefer, it's also wonderful with shrimp or salmon.)

I like to broil my fish fillets because it's a quick way, low-fuss way to cook them, though occasionally I'll pan-fry my fillets when I'm craving something a little bit crispier.

This recipe is incredibly easy to adapt--even the sauce ingredients can be swapped or tweaked according to your tastes or whatever happens to be in your pantry. I love to use cherry or grape tomatoes for this, but you can also dice up whole tomatoes or use canned ones if fresh tomatoes aren't in season.

A smoky cured meat like chorizo, bacon or speck adds amazing flavor, but you can also skip it if you don't eat pork. Same goes for the capers! (Though they really do add a wonderful salty bite!) Or swap in green or kalamata olives instead.

This easy fish recipe is wonderful and filling on its own, but a crusty baguette and a crisp salad would definitely turn it into a perfect anytime feast!

If you're entertaining guests, I recommend doubling the sauce recipe and making it a day or two in advance. It reheats really well, then all you have to do is quickly cook the fish and serve with the reheated sauce!

Broiled Fish with Rustic Mediterranean Tomato, Onion & Caper Sauce
Serves 4

2 pounds boneless white fish fillets such as perch, snapper, cod, halibut, or mahi mahi
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, diced
1/4 pound Spanish chorizo, speck, pancetta, or smoked bacon, finely chopped (optional) 
4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (substitute 2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes)
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon, cut into large strips
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon smoked spanish paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
1 cup dry sherry, white wine, or cognac  (substitute broth, if preferred)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving. 

Prep the fish: Line a baking sheet with foil. Drizzle foil generously with oil and use a brush to spread. Pat fish fillets very dry and arrange skin-side down on oiled foil. Season tops of fillets with salt and pepper. Chill, uncovered,  in refrigerator while you make the sauce.

Make the sauce: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the chopped chorizo (or other meat), if using, and saute 2-3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, crushed garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and a crack or two of black pepper. Saute 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until tomatoes start to soften and burst.

Add the spanish paprika, oregano, tomato paste, water, and sherry. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced (about 10 minutes). Stir in the butter and simmer 3 more minutes or until melted.

Remove from heat, and stir in the capers and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt as needed.

Remove fish from the refrigerator. Pat the fillets dry again with a paper towel and drizzle generously with olive oil. Broil 7-12 minutes, or until fully cooked, opaque and flaky. (If you don't have a broiler, bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.)

Serve fillets topped with large spoonfuls of the sauce and broth, and lemon wedges.

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