For the Tomato Vierge
1 pint mixed-color cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Flaky salt, such as Maldon
8 fresh basil leaves, coarsely torn, for garnish
For the Fish
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 skin-on flounder fillets (cod or halibut can be substituted), about 4 to 6 ounces each
4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
Make the tomato vierge: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put the cherry tomatoes in a baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar and coriander. Bake just until the tomatoes begin to soften and wilt, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well and season with flaky salt. Set aside.
Make the fish: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and white pepper, then add half the fillets to the pan, flesh-side down. Sear the fish until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip the fillets and add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan.
Use a spoon to baste the fish with the butter as it melts. Cook until the fish is no longer opaque and is golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes. Use a fish spatula to transfer the fillets to a paper towel–lined plate. Wipe the pan clean, then repeat with the remaining fish, olive oil, and butter.
Place a fillet onto each of six plates. Stir the basil into the tomato vierge and spoon some over each piece of fish. Serve with grilled zucchini, if you’d like.
Can you really have a complete dining experience without a wine pairing? We don't think so. The tomato vierge really brings the acidity but the tannins in this red Bordeaux are just the things to keep everything under control. Get some for yourself here!