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Sautéed Swordfish or Salmon Steaks with Capers and Vinegar, Stimpirata Style

From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Sautéed Swordfish or Salmon Steaks with Capers and Vinegar, Stimpirata Style


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup onion chopped very thin
6 tablespoons celery chopped very fine
2 tablespoons capers soaked and rinsed if packed in salt, drained if packed in vinegar
Vegetable oil for sautéeing the fish
2 pounds swordfish, salmon, or other fish steaks
2/3 cup flour, spread on a plate
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
1/4 cup good-quality wine vinegar, preferably white


1. Put the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan, and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it becomes coloured a pale gold, then add the chopped celery. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the celery is tender, 5 or more minutes. Add the capers and cook for about half a minute, stirring steadily. Turn off the heat.

2. Put enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to come 1/2 inch up the sides and turn on the heat to medium high. When the oil is hot, dredge the fish on both sides in the flour and slip it into the pan. Do not crowd the panat one time with more fish than will fit comfortably without overlapping. Cook the fish briefly, about 1 minute per side or a little longer if thicker than 1/2 inch, then transfer it to a platter, using a slotted spoon of spatula. When all the fish is done, add salt and a few grindings of pepper.

3. Turn the heat to medium under the pan with the celery and capers. When the contents of the pan begin to simmer, add the sautéed fish from the platter, turn it gently to coat it with the sauce, then add the vinegar. Let the vinegar bubble for a minute or so, then transfer the entire contents of the pan to a warm platter and serve at once.


a) I used salmon steaks - will try swordfish when I can get some.

b) Quick and easy recipe - had all the ingredients on hand, even the white wine vinegar.

c) I was inspired by the Pomodori E Vino group on facebook to try more recipes from this cookbook


Comments (1)

Very cool to have you cooking with Marcella. I think I'll have Pomodori link to your post just for fun!

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